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Spinach-Leek Dip

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The classic spinach dip, like so many other favorite dips and dunks, starts with an envelope of dried soup mix (you’ll find the classic recipe on every package of Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip, and Recipe Mix). I have served the mix-and-serve version often, simply because everyone loves it so much, and I include the recipe here. But when I serve my friend Diane Kniss’s recipe (see the variation), they line up at the dip bowl! I also enjoy making this tarragon- scented rendition with fresh vegetables, and it too has the party guests licking the bowl.

Make-Ahead: The dip can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Makes3 cups

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCocktail Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecreamy, savory

Type of Dishdip/spread

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Two 6-ounce bags baby spinach
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white part only)
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground hot red (cayenne) pepper

Instructions

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. In batches, stir in the spinach, wilting each batch before adding more. Sprinkle the spinach with 1 tablespoon water, cover, and cook until the spinach is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse, and cool. A handful at a time, squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Chop coarsely.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and red pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine the spinach, cooled vegetables, sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, and cayenne in a food processor and process until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

Serve chilled.

Classic Spinach Dip: Mix one-ounce container sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise, one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture, 3 chopped scallions (white and green parts), and one l.4-ounce envelope Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip, and Recipe Mix. Cover and chill. Makes 3 cups.

Diane’s Deluxe Spinach Dip: Mix one 16-ounce container sour cream, 2 cups mayonnaise, one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture, ½ cup chopped scallions, ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, ½ cup chopped fresh dill, one l.4-ounce package Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip, and Recipe Mix, and 1 tablespoon cheese-based salad seasoning (such as Salad Supreme). Cover and chill. Makes 5½ cups.

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I have not made this dip, but it looks good and I want to do so for an upcoming event. A question: the recipe's description uses the phrase "tarragon-scented", but tarragon is not one of the listed ingredients. What gives the dip a tarragon scent? Should the dip include tarragon?

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