Breakfast / Brunch / Hors d'oeuvre / Side Dish

Spicy Spinach and Cheese Dip

Adding spices

Amy, the only strict vegetarian in our book group, brought this to one of our meetings years… ouch, more than a decade ago, since it was before Gus was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Rich and satisfying, it remains a favorite.  The original recipe includes making crackers out of pita bread baked with melted butter, cumin, and lemon pepper. Since I have yet to find satisfactory GF flat bread or pita, we incorporated the flavors in the dip: delicious! It also makes it possible to serve as a side to “south of the border” entrees.

Spicy Spinach & Cheese Dip – Serves 12-16

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper

3/4 cup finely chopped  yellow onion

2 cups finely chopped tomatoes

10 ounces steamed spinach, chopped and squeezed dry (or 10 oz. organic frozen spinach, cooked and squeezed dry)

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated (reserve a little to sprinkle on top before baking if you like)

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (organic and wash the lemon – you’re using the peel!)

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, cream cheese, cream, cumin, zest, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir to blend evenly.

3.  Fold in the Monterey Jack cheese and turn into a round shallow oven safe serving dish. I often use a ceramic fondue dish.

4.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until steaming, bubbling, and lightly browned.

Serve with GF chips or crackers. A dollop is also a excellent “side” on a plate of enchiladas, fajitas, or tamales.

 

 

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