As the season goes on, it’s easy to get sick of the same old sour cream based dips, guacamole or hummus, and you don’t always want a heavy baked spinach and artichoke dip made with cream cheese. The next best option for creaminess and taste? Ricotta.
By roasting the garlic, artichokes and some of the serranos, it tones down their sharpness and tames the heat so the peppers won’t overpower your palate. Fresh scallions round out the dip, but if you want a little extra bite of salt or brininess, fold in a tablespoon of chopped capers or kalamata olives.
Roasted Serrano Artichoke Ricotta Dip
You will need:
15-16 ounce can of artichoke heart quarters packed in water, drained
2-3 cloves of garlic
4-5 good sized serrano peppers
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 – 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk for a creamier dip but you can substitute reduced fat if desired
2-3 scallions, green and white parts, diced (about 1/2 cup)
Crostini, pretzel bread, chips or endive leaves for dipping. (Yes, I forgot to pull the endive out of the fridge for this group shot.)
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Remove the stem and seeds from 3 or 4 of the peppers, reserving one pepper for garnish and extra crunchy heat.
Make an foil packet that contains the artichoke hearts, the seeded peppers and garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, approximately 1/2 teaspoon. Gently toss so everything is coated in oil. Close up the packet and make sure it is well-sealed. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the contents are all nice and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once artichokes, serrano peppers and garlic cloves have cooled, carefully separate the three ingredients. In a medium bowl, smash the garlic cloves into a paste. Mix in the ricotta cheese and the remaining kosher salt until the garlic and salt are fully incorporated. Finely dice the peppers and toss into the bowl with the ricotta and garlic. Then coarsely chop the artichoke hearts. Add to the bowl along with the diced scallions and gently fold all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to let the flavor develop.
When ready to serve, thinly slice the remaining serrano pepper and top off the dip.
Serve with crostini, endive leaves, multigrain chips or pretzel bread. Eat while watching your team fall approximate twelve touchdowns behind the Patriots. (Optional.)
Serves 4-8, depending if any of your guests are nervous eaters.