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Ultimate Baked Artichoke And Spinach Dip

02/03/2012 08:57 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

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I love artichoke and spinach dip, especially served warm out of the oven, but a good one is hard to come by. The problem is that most recipes call for canned or marinated artichokes -- which are tinny and sour tasting -- as well as sour cream (yet more tang) and an ungodly amount of mayonnaise. My version is updated with a French twist. Instead of sour cream and mayonnaise, I use a Mornay sauce to thicken the dip. This is simply a Béchamel, or white sauce, with the addition of grated cheese. I also use frozen artichokes, which are the closest thing to fresh. It bakes up creamy, cheesy and wonderfully rich, with chunks of artichoke hearts and bright green spinach within.

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Begin by melting the butter in a medium saucepan to make the Mornay sauce.

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Next, add the flour and continue cooking...

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Stirring all the while.

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When the mixture turns a golden-sandy color, whisk in the milk.

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Bring the sauce up to a boil, then simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon.

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Off the heat, stir in the cheese until melted.

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As you can see, it will be quite thick. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

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Next, cook the onions in a large pan until soft and translucent, then add the chopped artichokes, spinach (be sure it's squeezed dry) and garlic.

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Cook for 5 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce and fold together.

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Transfer the dip to a pretty baking dish and top with more Parmesan cheese.

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Bake until hot throughout and serve with a sliced baguette.

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Get the recipe for Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip

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