this one can be filed under ‘guaranteed crowd pleasers’. i have a handful of easy entertaining foods i can whip up by memory if i’m having friends around, but this warm spinach and mushroom dip is a recent addition to my repertoire.
you can throw this together ahead of time, leave to mingle in the fridge, and then blast in the oven an hour or so before guests arrive. leave it to set for half an hour while you primp and pour drinks, and it will be gobbled up before you’ve had time to offer the first round of refills.
- 8oz/230g cream cheese, room temp
- 300ml creme fraiche
- splash of garlic oil
- 4 rashers of bacon, chopped small
- 1 large white onion
- 1 bag of spinach, about 100g
- 200g mushrooms of your choice, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/3 cup blue cheese of your choice, chopped or crumbled
fry bacon until just crispy, then remove to paper towels to drain, keeping the juices in the pan. fry onions in the bacon grease and garlic oil with a little salt to prevent browning until soft. add the mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes, then add the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted.
in a bowl, combine the cream cheese and creme fraiche. add the blue cheese – if you’re not a fan, substitute the blue cheese for more parmesan and add some now. add the vegetables and bacon and fold through until combined. pour into a baking dish and top with parmesan cheese. bake at 180c for 25 mins until warmed through and the top is bubbling.
the dip is best left to set for about half an hour so it is not overly liquid and is warm, not hot. serve with carrot sticks and tortilla chips. it’s very rich – a little goes a long way! the best bit is of course the cheesy top, so if you have a shallow dish, use that one, and there’ll be less fighting over that prized golden brown crispiness. next time i’m adding breadcrumbs too. drool.
adapted from this recipe.