When I was a kid we used to spend the holidays at my mom’s best friend’s house down the street and aside from it being one of my favorite nights of the year, it was also the night that I got to indulge in my favorite party snack: artichoke dip. I would eat so much of it that I would feel ill in minutes. To this day, I still repeat the same routine when it’s in front of me. Throughout the years I’ve adapted a few family friends’ recipes and always cringe when I see the amount of cheese and mayonnaise that I’m about to dig into. Yet, I still cannot resist it. Tonight, I decided to try to health it up a bit, with hopes of not sacrificing flavor. To my astonishment, it worked!
I had recently made some pine nut cheese and thought that the flavors in it might do the trick as a parmesan and feta substitute. I thought the cashew mayo might do something a bit weird, but figured I’d live on the edge and toss some in. It turns out that it was a good idea. My mom is in town so I was excited for her (fellow indulger of crack holiday dip) to taste it for a real opinion. We were both legitimately shocked. It really tastes so similar to the “real thing”. So much so, that we nearly ate the whole bowl. I plan on serving this for years to come, starting with a little Friendsgivukkah dinner I’m hosting this coming weekend. Here’s how to make this healthy, vegan version of this classic dip…
1 8 oz can artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
1 large shallot thinly sliced (salad slices)
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
For Pine Nut Cheese:
1 cup soaked pine nuts (soak for an hour)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbs nutritional yeast ( I eyed this so start with less and add to taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic
1-2 pinches of salt or to taste
Add olive oil and shallots to small/medium pan and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes over medium-low heat or until garlic is soft but not brown. Set aside.
To make pint nut cheese, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth but a little bit grainy still. Add more nutritional yeast and salt to taste.
Make the Cashew mayo according to recipe here.
In a small pyrex, combine artichokes, pine nut cheese, cashew mayo, shallots and garlic and mix together with a spoon. Taste and add salt if needed.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees – until hot all the way through.