Artichoke and Spinach Dip Recipe
The Bee and the Artichoke
The artichoke flowers in August and September, so this is when bees pollinate this magnificent blue-purple flower that produces nectar and pollen. Honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees all love the sweet nectar of this colorful plant.
This short video is 1:35-minutes long and shows how enthusiastic bees are about artichoke nectar.
Artichoke, or Imperial Star, is known in Latin as Cynara scolymus and is from the Asteraceae family. It is pollinated by the honeybee and bumblebee. The flower buds are harvested just before they open and are then boiled before being eaten. Some small buds should be left to flower into seeds that can be saved after pollination.
In some places the artichoke is considered a medicinal herb, since the leaves contain cynarin, which is a compound said to support liver and gall bladder function and lower blood cholesterol.
Artichoke and Spinach Dip
15 minutes preparation / 20 minutes bake time
Serves 4-10 people
14 ounces (can or jar) quartered artichoke hearts, drained and squeezed, chopped
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
8 ounces soften cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 scallion, sliced thin
1 clove of garlic, crushed or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
4 ounces finely shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt to taste
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an oval or small 8 x 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallion, garlic, parmesan, mozzarella, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper together in a bowl and mix them until smooth.
Stir in drained artichokes and spinach and spread mixture evenly into the baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until heated through for about 20-25 minutes.
If you like the broiled look, put the dish beneath the broiler 3-5 minutes, then serve bubbling and warm.
Best accompaniments for eating this dish are: tortilla chips, crackers, toasted baguette slices, crostini, or to go ultra-healthy and serve up some cucumber and apple slices, celery and carrot sticks.
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