Like many people, I have an unfortunate weakness for cheesy, creamy, gooey, and otherwise fattening foods. Not surprisingly, I’ve always been a big fan of warm dips. Knowing their relative lack of healthy merit, I rarely make them at home. Last week however, I made dip… twice. In my (arteries’) defense, one recipe was far healthier than your average hot dip. The other… not so much. Both were delicious though, and I’ve been looking forward to telling you about them.
Today I present to you a healthy warm spinach dip. Unlike the spinach dips you can get, well, pretty much everywhere, this recipe is not a cream cheese/mayo/sour cream fat bomb. You can actually feel good about eating this dip. And since I have pretty much no willpower around foods I love, that is a very good thing as far as I’m concerned.
This recipe is a different spin on a traditional spinach dip. The base is a puree of creamy white beans and fluffy ricotta cheese, which makes for a somewhat thicker dip than usual. Spinach gives the dip its color and lemon zest and fresh chives give it some zing. Fresh from the oven, this spinach and white bean dip is delicious with veggies, toast, pita chips, etc. It would also make a great vegetarian sandwich spread. Leftovers dry out a bit, so dig in while the dip is at its creamy best.
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Warm Spinach and White Bean Dip
Adapted from Perry’s Plate
1 cup ricotta cheese, whole or part-skim
15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained (use cannellini or Great Northern)
5 oz. frozen spinach (half a 10 oz. box), thawed and squeezed dry
1 T. fresh chives, minced
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse the ricotta and white beans until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the spinach, chives, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Serve warm with veggies, toast, pita chips, etc.