I have to serve this decadently delicious, rich, cheesy concoction at least once a year!

It is almost fondue-like but it contains spinach and artichokes, so that makes it healthy, doesn’t it?

I can’t trace its origins but somewhere I read that a similar dish was served in Mediterranean countries centuries ago.

If you have travelled to the US you will find it on many menus as a snack or starter, sometimes with just spinach and other times without artichokes.

As the name implies it is a dip, usually served piping hot

You dip bread, croutons or nachos; carrot and celery sticks, pineapple or apple wedges.

The recipe is simple, it is a concoction of various cheeses, sour cream and mayonnaise. Chopped artichoke hearts and blanched spinach is added.

Artichokes are pricey and not always freely available, if you omit them, you simply double up on the spinach.

I like the addition of crushed garlic, a few good twists of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. And wait for it…..  little chopped chilli or jalapeno won’t go amiss, but be careful not to mask the delicate artichoke flavour.

The mixture is popped into an oven and served piping hot.

If you have a food warmer, you know one of those that operate similar to a fondue pot, or you have an electric slow cooker, they are ideal to keep the dip warm. If you don’t have these I have found a minute in the microwave heats it up beautifully.

Should you have any leftover dip, spoon it over baked potatoes, use it as a pancake filling or thin it down with some sour cream to make a cheesy pasta sauce!

Recipe: Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip