Spinach Artichoke Dip with a Brunch-Ready Quiche
A few years ago when dining at a local Italian cafe, Mark and I had a sizable amount of leftover spinach artichoke dip. Our server shared that her favorite fix for leftover spinach artichoke dip is to fold it into eggs the next morning. As you might suspect, this is unsurprisingly delicious. Now I'm always a tad thrilled to make this dip for a dinner gathering just to set aside some of the batch for an upcoming breakfast or brunch. The dip fares well in the freezer, too, so there's not necessarily the urgency to use it right away. We've adapted this to omelets, scrambled eggs and frittatas, but our personal favorite is quiche, especially if we are hosting out of town guests.
You can stumble upon many enjoyable recipes for spinach artichoke, but I'm a hearty proponent of making a roux of flour and butter and turning it into a cheese sauce using a smoked cheese, like smoked gouda.
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach
2 14-ounce cans artichokes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened and divided into 8 smaller pieces
1 cup smoked gouda, grated
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add fresh spinach and let it cook down, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove the spinach from heat and drain the liquid, squeezing out as much as possible, then set aside. Heat artichokes over medium heat for 2 minutes, then set aside with the spinach.
Use the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter for the roux; substitute lard or bacon fat if you have it on hand. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the fat over medium heat then add flour, stirring continuously as the roux begins to change in color and texture, 2-3 minutes. Add salt then stir in milk, making sure to break up any clumps of flour. Add in cream cheese and smoked gouda, stirring until the cheese sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and artichokes.
Grease a 9x9 inch or similarly sized baking dish. Pour the dip into the baking dish and top with grated parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot with sliced vegetables, bread and/or tortilla chips. Reserve a cup and a half of the dip for an upcoming quiche.
Ready for the quiche? The crust takes the most preparation, so if you're short on time you can swap in a pre-made crust.
Makes 1 bottom crust
4 ounces butter (1 stick), chilled
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2-4 ounces ice water
Cut the butter into small pieces then set it in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. Combine salt and flour. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or your hands. Crumble the butter into the flour until any remaining pieces are the size of small peas. The flour will look more like cornmeal or polenta at this point. Add the vinegar and 2 ounces of ice water. Combine with a spatula until a dough forms. Add more ice water as needed, one tablespoon at a time. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and set chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface and place in a buttered pie dish. Line the inside of the pie with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Blind bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights or dry beans, then bake for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside to cool and prepare the filling.
Makes 1 quiche
1 1/2 cups spinach artichoke dip
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Stir together spinach artichoke dip, cayenne and heavy cream in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl then add to quiche filling. Stir until well incorporated then pour into the cooled pie crust.
Bake for 35 minutes until the sides of the quiche are set, but the middle still slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.