Monday, December 26, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Spinach Spread

Why this dip rocks...
This dip will be a hit for your next party, I'm thinking New Years Eve!  The flavors of roasted garlic and roasted tomatoes give this dip some character.  It is similar to a spinach dip, but made with less fat and more fresh ingredients! It can be made ahead of time and travels very nicely. I served it cold for simplicity sake, but it probably would have been ever better as a hot dip!  Serve with whole wheat crackers or on top of roasted sliced vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or summer squash)

Roasting garlic 101
Roasting garlic is easy and is ready in about 35 minutes.  It becomes soft, creamy, and a bit sweeter in flavor.  Make extra when you bake it because you never know when you wanna toss it in pasta, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, or to spice up a tomato sauce!

To roast garlic, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the top of the head of garlic off, peel the outer layers of skin off and place on a baking sheet (line with tin foil for easy clean-up). Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until soft.  Tomatoes can be done the exact same way (cut the top off and slice in half). Squeeze the soft garlic out or remove the skin to keep the clove whole.

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Spinach Spread
Makes 45 Servings

2 large tomatoes, roasted
1 head of garlic, roasted
1/2 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz of light cream cheese, softened
1 fresh tomato, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Place the roasted garlic and roasted tomato in a blender or food processor and pulse for 15 seconds. Place the spinach, parmesan, olive oil, mayonnaise, and cream cheese in a saucepan and cook for 7 minutes. To save on time and extra dishes, you can also put the mixture in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Pour the tomato garlic mixture and the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl and combine the remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed well.  Refrigerate if serving cold.  If serving hot, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes or until it starts to bubble and brown.

Nutrition Facts: 2 Tbsp of dip
20 calories, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 1.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 100 mg sodium

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