Here's another delicious, delicious item I made at brunch today. Again, I wish I'd photographed it, because it looked nice. But, alas, there is not any left to photograph now!
I got the original recipe from the Martha Stewart website and changed it slightly (only slightly!) to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand.
2 t. olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. fresh spinach, washed
1/2 c. heavy cream (I used Organic Valley.)
6 oz. neufchatel cheese (which is a lower-fat cream cheese ingredient, and I used Organic Valley again)
5 dashes of hot sauce (and, honestly, I'd use more next time)
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I always recommend Organic Valley over anything else, as you can tell, but I only had access to Horizon Organic today. Animals involved in organics are more likely, but not guaranteed, to be treated more humanely, and Organic Valley is a cooperative of family-owned farms, which I like.)
salt and freshly ground pepper
chips, pita chips, baguette slices, and/or crudités for serving the dip
Remove the large stems from your fresh spinach, then chop it coarsely. I know it looks like a huge amount now, but once it is cooked it will reduce dramatically.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a 1.5-quart shallow baking dish. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
Add half of the spinach to the large pot. Let it wilt, then add the 2nd half. Cook until the spinach is all completely wilted, stirring it with the onion mixture as you cook. Transfer the spinach and onion to a colander, and press it with the back of your spoon to release and drain excess liquid.
In the same large pot, heat the heavy cream over high heat. Add the neufchatel cheese and whisk until melted. Add the spinach, hot sauce, 1/4 c. cheddar, and salt and pepper, to taste. (I used a fairly generous amount of salt.) Pour the mixture into the oiled baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 c. cheddar on top.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 - 25 minutes. Serve warm with accompaniments.
My guests went crazy over this, even the children!