Category Archives: April

Spinach Artichoke Dip

The last of the spinach has been picked and I’m sorry to see it go.  Spinach is something I don’t get tired of eating, especially when it’s turned into one of my favorite dips.fresh spinach

First, I assembled the ingredients to get started.ingredients spinach artichoke dip

I steamed a bag of washed spinach and then drained it.  Next, I diced the artichokes, chopped the spinach,  and then mixed it along with the other ingredients.  (If your container of artichokes is larger than 14 ounces, you need to use about 10 artichoke hearts). I put it all in an oven-safe dish.

combine spinach artichoke

Next, I topped it with grated parmigiano reggiano and baked it for about 30 minutes until the dip was bubbly and heated through. I think I topped it with about 1/2 cup of cheese, but you can use more or less to your taste.  Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear!

spinach artichoke dip oven ready

Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • ⅓ cup cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 cups spinach, cooked, drained and chopped (alternately, use a 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use more or less to your liking)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • grated parmigiano reggiano, parmesan, or asiago (or use a blend of all three)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in an oven safe dish.
  3. Top with grated cheese to your liking.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dip is heated through and bubbly.


Creamy Fennel Soup

celery fennel harvest march 2016One of my favorite cookbooks is John Besh’s My Family Table.  A particular recipe, Creamy Any Vegetable Soup, has become one I turn to regularly, mainly because it is easily adaptable to whatever veg is coming out of the garden.  We have quite a bit of celery and fennel that needs to be used, so in this version of the recipe, these vegetables are my inspiration.  I also like to make this soup using cauliflower substituted for the fennel.  In the book, Besh stresses that this recipe is a building block for any number of creamy soups, so feel free to substitute ingredients depending on what you have on hand.

First, I diced onion, celery and carrots and sautéed them until soft.onion celery carrot diced

Next, I sliced a couple of fennel bulbs and added these to the pot to sauté along with two cloves of minced garlic.

fennel added to saute

We also had the first harvest of new potatoes on hand, so I diced these and added them to the pot along with the chicken broth, salt and pepper. The recipe calls for one potato, but I use two or three depending on how thick I want the soup. Also, at this point, John Besh says to add the cream, but I wait until after I’ve finished simmering the soup to add it.

add potatoes to soup

After about 20 minutes, I stirred in the cream and removed the soup from heat.  With my immersion blender, I blended the soup into a chunky purée.

immersion blender in soup

Creamy Fennel Soup
Serves: 8 servings
Adapted from John Besh, My Family Table, Creamy Any Vegetable Soup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium new potatoes, unpeeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté until almost softened.
  3. Add the fennel and sauté along with the other vegetables until softened.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the potatoes and chicken broth along with a teaspoon of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce immediately to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cream and remove from heat.
  8. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup.