DSC01448The ones you order in pubs and restaurants horrify me. Where’s the spinach, and does the dominant flavor really have to be cream cheese? This, on the other hand, is chock full of vegetable flavor (as the name implies) and hefty enough to count as a sandwich filling. Keep in mind you can play with the ratios, and vegans can substitute pureed white beans for the cheese.

This, incidentally, was put together very quickly when my dear roommate demanded I eat lunch quickly (I was informed I couldn’t do anything elaborate) so we could go birdwatching. While I’ve been buying commercial farmer’s cheese here, there are definitely farms who produce a similar fresh cheese and it’s an easy cheese for a beginner. Bianca, from Hawthorne Valley, comes to mind as one that is available in NYC.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

3 oz farmer’s cheese, or other mild spreading cheese such as ricotta or goat cheese
2 c frozen leaf spinach, defrosted
6-8 oz marinated artichokes, chopped
2 T percorino romano
1/2 lemon, juiced
Black pepper, to taste
Toast, crackers, etc to accompany

Mix all ingredients. For a finer consistency, chop the spinach after defrosting.

This makes a delightful open-faced sandwich. Toast one side, add the dip to the toasted side, and toast the other. Run under the broiler briefly to lightly brown the top, if desired.