Friday, January 20, 2012

spinach dip (on the fly)

In an effort to get the kid's dinner made before the school bus rumbled up yesterday, I roasted some chicken and potatoes/sweet potatoes, quickly sauteed some spinach with a little garlic, and chopped up a fresh batch of veggies to have on hand. My younger son came over to the range and peeked at the spinach. "I don't like the way spinach tastes in my mouth when it looks like that." {Yes, I've registered that same complaint in the past...normally cooked spinach goes into our frittatas, scrambled eggs, etc but tonight I was in a time pinch and was planning on offering up a simple sauteed spinach side.} The bus arrived with my older son, who announced, "something smells YUMMY!" when he came in, but then lost his enthusiasm when he saw the garlicky wilted greens. So, while coloring and homework ensued at the kitchen table, I quickly morphed the very unpopular spinach into... [ta da!] Bright Green Spinach Dip! And it was a hit.

So I had the spinach. A check of the snack drawer for nuts came up with slivered raw almonds, though any nut you like will do....

and some oil. I happened to have a little but of walnut oil left, but again, go with what you have, that your family likes. The oil is used to thin my dip, and give my kids some healthy fat. You could simply go with water, or broth of if you have some kicking around.

Add everything to the blender, and pulse. Hmmm, you'll see that mine was a little thick. The spinach whizzed itself smooth but the whole thing wasn't coming together, so, I added a splash of water, and

there you have it! But, I tasted it and it was a little, I guess "spinach-y" is the best way to describe it.

So, I checked our cheese supply and added a bit of Feta (but again, pick a cheese your family likes...).

This made quite a bit, so I was hoping it would be a hit...

The kids loved it! And 24 hours later, it's still bright green, so it holds up well. Here's the spur-of-the-moment "recipe" in case anyone else finds themselves needing to work some kitchen magic down the line:

Bright Green Spinach* Dip 
(*can be made with any sauteed veggie)
I am not giving you exact measurement, because this is a really flexible recipe. Simply add ingredients and taste along with way to get to the texture and taste you and your family will enjoy.

sauteed spinach (mine was with garlic and olive oil)
oil, water or broth (optional, to thin the dip)
nuts (I used slivered, raw almonds; use any nut you like)
cheese (I used Feta; Parmesan would also be good)
salt & pepper (optional), to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until desired consistency. Will store in an air-tight container for a few days in the fridge. Serve as a snack or side dish with chopped veggies, grilled chicken or fish, pita chips- really anything that your children like to dip! If your kids like this, then you might also want to bookmark or pin my Bright Green Pea Dip.

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