This Tuscan artichoke and sundried tomato dip is so easy to make, and it’s absolutely delicious.
Now this is my kind of Labor. Happy Labor Day everyone.
This is a dip that I’ve made several times now and had requests for it each time. If you’re in a hurry, you can put it all into a food processor and give it a whirl.
It still tastes great, but people have thought it was bean dip, liverwurst or who knows what the one time I did that. Now I do it by hand, and it’s much prettier. Plus, I like the chunks.
Can I make this cream cheese dip in advance?
You can make this Tuscan artichoke and sundried tomato dip in advance and let it sit in your fridge overnight if you want to get a head start on the festivities. Let it sit out for a half hour or so before serving so that it spreads.
In fact, the flavors meld and come together better when you let this sit – covered – in the fridge overnight. However, if you don’t have time, this is also a great recipe to whip up at the last minute, too.
What cream cheese should I use in this dip?
I use neufchatel in this simple cream cheese dip because it naturally has less fat than regular cream cheese, but it retains a great texture and tasty. I don’t generally recommend fat free cream cheese simply because it tastes and feels plasticky.
Regardless of what type of cream cheese you choose to use, make sure you soften it before you use it. It does not work if it’s still cold.
Should I use fresh or dried parsley in my dip?
This recipe works either way. Because you want it to sit awhile for the flavors to meld, you can use dried parsley.
In fact the recipe is written for dried parsley, and it tastes great. When you can use ingredients you have on hand instead of making a trip to the store, this helps make it a perfect last minute dip recipe.
If you have fresh parsley, absolutely use it. The rule is always to use three times as much fresh herb as you do dried, so use a full cup – or close to it – of fresh parsley.
Can I use bottled garlic?
No. Please just throw your bottle away. Now.
Bottled minced garlic does not taste the same, and it’s often very VERY old. Fresh garlic is so much cheaper and the difference in taste is amazing.
That doesn’t count the fact that it may have been bleached or include phosphoric acid. And it soaks in water, so what do you think that does to the flavor?
How to Make Tuscan Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip
1/2 c. Kalamata olives
8 sundried tomatoes
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts
1/3 c. dried parsley
3 cloves garlic
8 oz neufchatel
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 t salt
Use about this many olives. When cooking, I’m notoriously bad at measuring, but I tried to at least get close. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you use more or less, you’re ok.
To get the pits out, place the knife on the olives like so. Then using a closed fist, bang down on the knife hard. The olive will squish.
Once the olive is squished, you can easily pull out the pit.
Then do lots of chopping so that it gets into nice little pieces small enough that you’d want to put them into your mouth as part of a dip.
Again, use about this much artichoke. It looks about the amount that would come in a can. Of course since I shop at Costco, I have to guesstimate. And yes, I actually finished off the entire jar of artichokes. I use them in a lot of things.
And here we have our sundried tomatoes. You’ll also want to cut up these. I find it easiest to do them individually. I slice them into narrow strips then cut the strips in half.
Ahhh, garlic. My favorite ingredient. You’ll want to go with the same theory as with the olives. Lay the knife on its side and smash away. It really feels great when you’ve been having a bad day.
Once you’ve done this, it’s easy as pie to remove the skins. They almost fall out of them.
Seriously, why waste the money on all those fancy gadgets? It’s all about technique! Plus, that leaves more room in my kitchen for the important things like immersion blenders and pasta cranks and rice cookers and such.
Make sure you mince the garlic really well. The last thing you want to do is bite into half a clove of raw garlic while at a party. Ok, maybe not the last thing, but that would be mean.
Place all your ingredients into the bowl. The order doesn’t really matter. I do like to put the cream cheese in first though.
Stir it up with a spatula. You don’t want to overstir but definitely want to get it all mixed in and well-distributed. Just put it into a nice bowl and serve with crackers or veggies or whatever you like.
Enjoy! As always, let me know what you think.