This easy “pesto” was born on a day when I was craving spinach artichoke dip. I was really not in the mood for the cream cheese and heavy cream in practically every recipe I could find. So, I took a healthier & lighter approach with fewer ingredients and arrived at this pesto-like mixture (omitting the pine nuts).
Like many recipes, this pesto is quite open for interpretation. Measuring fresh spinach can be quite difficult to quantify, so add as much as – or as little – as you prefer. Increasing the amount of cheese turns it into a cheesy spread on crackers or crostini. Using this as a pesto spread on a grilled sandwich is absolutely dreamy because the goat cheese gets all melty. Sometimes I sauté the artichoke hearts with garlic before I add them in. It’s all up to you.
Even better … if you’re normally lactose intolerant with cow’s milk, chances are you can consume goat cheese quite successfully. Don’t believe me? Read all about it on Epicurious.
Ingredientsfor spinach artichokd pesto
• 1 grocery store bunch of fresh spinach
• ½ can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts (about 6 quarters)
• 4 oz. goat cheese – either goat feta or the classic “Chevre” (pictured below)
• ½ cup olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, grated
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• kosher salt to taste (optional)
1. To clean spinach thoroughly, remove stems and soak leaves in a medium pot of cool water with about I tablespoon of kosher salt. Let sit about 30 minutes while agitating frequently. Strain spinach in a colander and rinse again.
2. Chop spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic and add to a food processor. Add olive oil and process on high to thoroughly break everything down.
3. Add goat cheese and black pepper and gently process until your desired consistency is achieved.