Want a delicious and simple appetizer to serve your holiday guests?  I’ve always loved baked artichoke dip.  It’s rich, creamy and even those who aren’t artichoke lovers find it irresistible!  Plus, you can make it lighter and add good-for-you ingredients to boost the nutrition profile a bit.  The base of this recipe was derived from one my favorite little cookbooks, Best Ever Three and Four Ingredient Cookbook by Jenny White and Joanna Farrow.

I find that less is more when it comes to ingredients.  If I don’t have search for a lot of things at the grocery store than I can spend more time tinkering in the kitchen.  I was fortunate this month to get a special gift from my friends at Cabot Cheese (just one of the perks of being a member of the Cabot Cheese Board) – and I really wanted to try the Artisan Reserve Cheddar that arrived in the package.  I thought about artichoke dip right away…

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Since artichokes don’t have much flavor by themselves, adding a hint of cheese remedies that.  In lieu of the regular mayonnaise that’s in traditional artichoke dip, I use a dollop of Greek yogurt.  It boosts the protein and calcium – as well as adds some probiotics.  Plus, the yogurt’s sour notes pop alongside the savory cheddar, too.

Just a nutrition side note: along with the probiotics from the yogurt, artichokes contain prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract.  So it’s a win-win!  Plus artichokes are high in the electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamin C and folate.  So you are doing wonders for your digestion, skin and heart health by eating some of these little green flower buds – yes, artichokes are the edible buds of the thistle plant.

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With the help of a blender or Cuisinart, just pulse all of the ingredients together, bake for a few minutes and done.   It’s simple to throw together an hour before your guests arrive or before heading out to bring to a get-together.

Cheesy Artichoke, Basil & Yogurt Dip

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Makes 1.5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups artichoke hearts, marinated

3 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, 0% fat

1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

2 ounces Cabot Artisan Reserve Cheddar

Directions

Drain the artichokes in a colander to remove excess liquid (but do not rinse to preserve some of the oil and seasonings).  In a blender or Cuisinart add the artichokes, basil and yogurt. Pulse until combined and the artichokes are still chunky.  For some heat, add Sriracha, if desired.  Place in large baking dish or two smaller ones and top with cheddar cheese.  Place in oven on broil (high heat), for 5 minutes.  Check and remove when cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve while still warm with whole grain toast points, crackers or rice cakes.

Nutrition Information (per 2 tablespoons): Calories: 68, Total Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 8 mg, Sodium: 107 mg, Carbohydrate: 7 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 4 g

Happy & healthy holidays!

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

Disclosure:  I am a proud supporter and member of the Cabot Cheese Board, however all opinions (and recipes) are my own.