Monday, 8 October 2012

HUMMUS DIP WITH SPINACH AND ARTICHOKES


My imaginary friend came over the other day.  She hadn't visited in a while, but something was bothering her so she put in an appearance. The conversation went something like this: 

"What's that you said? You love spinach dip?"
"Yes, I love it!" 
"And you also love spinach-artichoke dip?" 
"Indeed I do!"
"And you're crazy about hummus?"
"Crazy as a loon!"
"And what else did you say?  A little louder please, I can't hear you too well. Really? You can't decide which to eat? Poor you! Quelle dommage! How about if you make all three?" 
"Forget the notion."
"Relax, relax! I don't mean three different dips; make one dip that is a combination of hummus, spinach and spinach-artichoke dip. Trust me, dear, it's delicious! I bought some from that market I go to, and I loved it. It has a hummus base. I need not tell you how healthy hummus is. Then there is spinach added, and carrots, and water chestnuts. Then there are chopped up artichokes incorporated into the mix."
"Did you get the recipe?"
"No ... the staff wouldn't give it to me but how hard is it going to be to make something similar? Come into the kitchen with me dear, and you'll be eating dip in no time."

WARNING:  THIS RECIPE IS NOT INTENDED FOR CONSUMPTION BY "PURIST" HUMMUS EATERS, AS IT CONTAINS INGREDIENTS NOT ORDINARILY FOUND IN TRADITIONAL HUMMUS RECIPES.  WILL THE "PURIST" HUMMUS EATING FOLK PLEASE CHECK MY POST ENTITLED: 
HUMMUS, HUMMUS, HUMMUS!

This recipe does away with the fat and calories of spinach/artichoke dips. Out goes the mayonnaise. Out goes the sour cream. Out go the high-fat cheeses. Instead, there is protein from the chickpeas, there is iron-rich spinach, there's delicious feta cheese and there's the goodness of yoghurt.  

Make the hummus base:

Take a 15 ounce can of chickpeas, 1 garlic clove, 4 level tablespoons tahini, 4 tablespoons lemon juice (or a little more, if needed), and a pinch each of salt, cumin and black pepper. Whip them up in a food processor until you get a smooth consistency. To that mixture add 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whip the mixture up some more and that should do it for the base of the dip.

Now let's add some vegetables:

Chop up 4 artichoke hearts (the canned ones, but not the marinated ones), chop up some spinach, chop some water chestnuts, chop a little parsley, and grate a carrot.  How much of each?  
Oh, details, details. We can measure or we can wing it.  I'm all for winging it. 
Let's just fold the vegetables into the hummus.  Stir in a tablespoon two tablespoons of feta cheese.  

Place the dip in the refrigerator for a few hours or preferably overnight so that the  Resting time is important so that the flavours can blend together. Once the dip is ready, place it on a serving platter and decorate the top with pine nuts. Serve with carrots, celery and pita chips. 

"Taste it.  Come on, taste it..." whoops... where did my imaginary friend go?  Oh well, she's gone. This was fun to make and a really delicious and healthy dip.