This is a much enjoyed appetizer that can be made a variety of ways.  My friend, Mariette, uses a much sharper cheese and it’s just a delicious.  It just has a different twist.  Many recipes include spinach, but somehow, someway, I’ve not acquired a taste for spinach in large doses.  Another fun addition is sun dried tomatoes but if doing that do so in small doses too.  For a sharper more flavorful taste use Asiago Cheese, Gruyere Cheese or an Italian blend.

Artichoke dip is one of my regulars to take to take to a Pot Luck dinner. It’s a warm dish served with crackers, toasted baguette slices or tortilla chips. Or, if you have left overs or prefer a cold dish it makes a great tapenade for crackers, toasted bread, etc. I often used my left overs from a party for a Happy Hour cold dish appetizer the following day.

This recipe calls for only 1 1/2 cups of artichoke hearts but if you’re feeling a little frivolous you can always go with more.  Depending on the size of the group and how far I want it to go, I would opt for more chopped hearts.  If I were downsizing to a smaller group then there would still be as much artichoke and then less mayo and half-and-half to make it a thicker richer tapenade.  Feel free to experiment.  I always do.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Artichoke hearts; quartered and then chopped 1/4 cup Half-and-half cream
1 cup Mozzarella; shredded 1/2 teaspoon Salt; to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese; shredded 1/4 cup Baby spinach; shopped; optional; I never add
1 cup Mayonnaise

Artichoke Dip Appetizer or Tapenade Preparation

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Quarter and then chop into bits
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Mixed up creamy texture ready for the hot oven

Take 32 ounce jar of whole artichoke; Dry weight is 19.5 ounces. Drain of all liquid. If the artichoke has been marinated in olive oil then rinse under running water until all or most of the oil has been removed. Chop the artichoke until diced or slightly larger size. I find it easier to quarter the artichoke heart and then cut those pieces into thirds with the cut side facing up.

Place in 2 quart baking dish. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Continue to add cream or mayonnaise until easily mixed but with not too much liquid.  If you want it more firm add less mayo.

Bake in 350 degree oven for around 20-30 minutes, remixing occasionally so that it heats evenly throughout. Remove when cheese begins to toast slightly on the top layer.

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Ready and hot from the oven

Serve with crackers, French baguette (sliced and toasted) or corn tortilla chips.

French Baguette:

Slice French Baguette. Place on baking sheet. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with slight layer of garlic salt. Sprinkle with slight layer of Italian spice. Place under hot broiler until lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately with spread.

If taking to a party to serve later then remove from baking sheet and let cool on cookie rack. Place warm artichoke dip in crockpot and reheat on low to serve after you arrive at the party.

If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀  I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

Almost without fail, when I have a dinner party or a gathering  for a fun cocktail hour evening, I will serve this appetiser.  It’s a great one to mix up for your friends and to get your friends to mix together.  Sometimes, a Bruschetta is served with the tapanade already on the bread.

I like to serve mine with toasted baquette and the Bruschetta on the side so the bread does not get soggy.  Hate soggy bread for some reason.

So, if you like to have the tapenade flavor mix into the bread, then feel free to serve the toasties already topped.  The difference though is that your friends may just load their plate and not mingle as much around the appetiser table.  There are a couple of other appetisers in the feature image; Stuffed Mushrooms.  One is a Stuffed Mushrooms with Sweet Italian Sausage, Goat Cheese & Figs and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Water Chestnuts.  Look for these in the future.

This baquette toastie is different from most that I have tried because it is a nice appetiser all on it’s own.  It has a robust flavor that is enhanced by the Bruschetta.  You can use this baquette recipe for almost any tapenade.  Enjoy… from KCinAZ.

Ingredients

Bruschetta Topping:   Baguette:
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil 1  pound French bread Baguette
1  tablespoon Champagne Wine vinegar 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2  cloves garlic, peeled; chopped 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
3  large Tomatoes; chopped  Italian seasoning to taste
12  sprigs Basil; chopped 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese shredded
Salt; To taste

Preparation

Remove seeds and pulp from tomatoes and then dice into small pieces.  Mix together tomatoes, chopped or minced garlic cloves, olive oil, Champagne wine vinegar, chopped basil, salt and pepper and set aside to serve at table.

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Slice French bread baguette into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices; your choice depending on the crowd.  Place on flat baking dish like a heavy cookie pan.  Brush top of each slice with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic salt and lightly top with shredded Asiago Cheese on each bread slice.  Place under hot broiler and cook on BROIL until lightly browned.

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If you don’t have Asiago Cheese on hand, feel free to substitute fresh shredded Parmesan.  It will still be great!

Makes 12 servings.