Typical spinach artichoke dip wears a health halo that comes from having the word spinach in the name. Although it may sound good for you, it is all too often loaded with saturated fat and an excessive amount of sodium in a cheesy base that makes it easy to overindulge. Enter this brain-healthy take on the classic dip, which pairs the spinach—and lots of it— with a creamy, cashew-based sauce. If you love artichokes, you’ll like this version even better than the standard, since the artichoke flavor really shines, and you still get to dip the crispy chips in the hot, creamy dip.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
- 1 cup (140 g) raw cashews, soaked with water to cover for at least 2 hours and up to overnight
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
- 4 cups (535 g) quartered artichoke hearts (from two 14-ounce/400 g cans, or frozen and thawed)
- ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 packed cups (150 g) baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup (1 ounce/30 g) grated Parmesan cheese (optional; see Tip)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pita chips, for serving
- 1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush a 9-inch (23 cm) square baking dish with olive oil.
- 2 Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Place the cashews in a blender with the fresh water. Blend on high speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth, like the consistency of whipped cream, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender and process for 1 minute longer. Set aside.
- 3 Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until starting to soften and turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, wine, and salt. Increase the heat until the liquid is gently simmering. Cover and cook, with the lid ajar, until the artichokes are soft and starting to break apart, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
- 4 Using a ladle, transfer half of the artichoke and spinach sauce to the blender with the cashew cream. Blend on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape back into the pan and stir to combine. Pour into the baking dish, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese (if using), and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the dip is crispy and brown on top and bubbling beneath.
- 5 Sprinkle with the chives and finish with pepper. Serve the dip hot with pita chips for dipping.