For Christmas I received Tal Ronnen’s new book, Crossroads, which is a beautiful cookbook full of vegan recipes that he uses in his L.A.-based restaurant. Ronnen’s dishes are colorful, creative, and inspiring — but hardly “plant pure.” Some of the dishes are fried, and almost all of them contain olive oil. And although some people may be into hunting down impossible-to-find ingredients such as black garlic and Kite Hill vegan cheeses (probably only available in California), others of us prefer simple dishes that don’t require an ingredient scavenger hunt.
One recipe that inspired me was his “Warm Kale and Artichoke Dip.” Instead of using store-bought vegan cream cheese or Daiya shreds, he used cashew cream and wine to add richness to this classic appetizer. I thus decided to alter his recipe to make it healthier and simpler to make, and WOW. This recipe is a keeper!
Although it’ll be tough to compete with my Vegan Queso recipe, I’m adding this creamy kale & artichoke dip to my entertaining appetizer repertoire!
This creamy kale & artichoke dip is everything you want in an artichoke dip — thick, rich, slightly salty, and relatively low in calories and fat compared to the cheese and cream-filled versions!
This was my quickest photo session, because I wanted to eat this dip so badly! I ate way more than one serving, so it’s a good thing it’s nutritious!
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least one hour
- 1 15-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped, tough parts removed
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup sherry
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (sold in most bulk sections of grocery stores)
- 1 T. fresh thyme leaves
- 3 cups baby kale, baby spinach, or a combo of the two
- ½ t. salt
- Few grinds black pepper
- Garnish: paprika, smoked paprika, or thyme sprigs
- Drain cashews and add to high speed blender with ½ cup water. Blend until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Add a splash of water to a medium saucepan. Cook the shallot and garlic over medium heat about 2 minutes. Pour in the chopped artichokes and stir to heat them up.
- Stir in the sherry and wine, and cook about 1 minute to evaporate some of the alcohol. Now add the cashew cream from the blender, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast, and thyme, and reduce heat to low. Gently simmer until thick, 25-30 mins, stirring often to prevent the cashew cream from burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Fold in the kale a few handfuls at a time and stir until wilted. Continue to cook another 5-10 mins. If the dip appears too thick, add more vegetable stock one Tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to serving dish, and garnish with paprika, smoked paprika, or thyme sprigs.
To reheat, microwave covered or on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring often.
Because I’m a nutrition nerd, I decided to compare this creamy kale & artichoke dip to some of the spinach artichoke dips you might order at a chain restaurant.
In one 1/2-cup serving, this dip contains 162 calories and 6.5 grams of fat.
For the same amount of dip, here’s what you get with spinach artichoke dip from . . .
Applebee’s: 513 calories, 20 grams fat
Olive Garden: 737 calories, 35 grams fat
Outback Steakhouse: 1185 calories, 85 grams of fat
Trust me, this creamy kale & artichoke dip is so rich and delicious, you won’t miss the dairy AT ALL. And when you lose all self control and eat the whole bowl, remind yourself that the 2 cups of dip you ate contained fewer calories than a 1/2 cup of dip from Olive Garden and Outback!
Just looking at these photos makes me want to make this recipe again and eat it for lunch . . . and dinner . . .
This kale & artichoke dip is just another delicious way to get your daily dose of greens 🙂