Tag Archives: Goat Cheese

Grilled Artichoke and Yogurt Dip

Hot and bubbling, straight out of the oven - yum!

Hot and bubbling, straight out of the oven – yum!

Wow! So many possibilities to get creative with this recipe, where to start?  At the beginning, I guess…  Our friends brought us a bag of grilled artichokes as a hostess gift the other night.  They looked yummy and the next day I decided to turn them into a healthy baked dip.  I did not have time to go to the store, so in true Creative Recipe fashion, I used whatever I had on hand.  I did not have mayo, which is the classic ingredient for a baked artichoke dip, but I did have fat-free plain yogurt (not Greek style), and I was going for healthy.  Searching online, I learned that yogurt can curdle a bit if baked at too high a temperature.  Absolutely does not affect taste.   There are tricks, according to my search, such as adding cornstarch to the yogurt or baking at a lower temperature.  But I wanted a nicely browned dip, and I’m a believer in just starting somewhere and changing one ingredient or technique at a time in the quest for perfection.  So I simply started with the yogurt, no thickener, a high enough oven to brown the dish and determined to note the results.  The flavors and texture were delicious, it browned beautifully, and yes…. the yogurt did curdle slightly.  Next time, I will add a thickener such as corn starch or rice flour to the yogurt to note that difference.  You could get very creative with some sautéed spinach and/or zucchini or summer squash to really load up the veggie quotient.  Here is the first go-round on this recipe and as you would expect, quantities are eye-balled:

Ingredients

1 bag grilled Artichoke Hearts, chopped (6 ounce bag) – These grilled hearts are certainly worth seeking out, but you could used canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.  There are also frozen artichoke hearts that may work, though I would recommend thawing and draining well first.

ARTICHOKE YOGURT BAKED DIP 4 (1280x956)

Roasted Red Peppers, chopped (hmmmm…. 1/2 cup or so?)

A few Celery tops, minced

Minced Vidalia Onion – about 2 tablespoons

Garlic – if desired (I omitted because the grilled artichokes were flavored with garlic.  If I used canned, I would add some garlic)

Fresh Lemon Juice – about 1 teaspoon

Dill Weed – 1 to 2 teaspoons, to your taste.  Basil would also be good, maybe tarragon or oregano, depending on your veggie choices.  Get creative!

Plain Non-fat Yogurt – approximately 1 cup

Cheese – I used a combination of shredded Parmesan, Goat Cheese and Feta Cheese – about 1 -1/2 cups.  Cream cheese would also melt nicely.  Get creative, but perhaps avoid cheeses that get too “oily” as they melt.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

ARTICHOKE YOGURT BAKED DIP 1 (1280x956)ARTICHOKE YOGURT BAKED DIP 2 (1280x956)

Place in an 8 x 8 square glass pan (I did not grease).  Top with some more Parmesan Cheese.

ARTICHOKE YOGURT BAKED DIP 3 (1280x956)

Bake, uncovered, approximately one hour or until browned and bubbly.

Variations:

If you add veggies with a high water content such as fresh spinach or squash, I would recommend grating the squash and chopping the spinach.  Then sauté in a small amount of olive oil until the liquids that naturally leach out evaporate.  That way you will not have a watery dip.

Maybe some bread crumbs (gluten free or Panko) or potato chip crumbs would be good on top?  Just brainstorming…

This would be a great topping for a baked potato bar or veggie burgers – try the Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Burger.  What creative ideas and variations do you have?

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.

 


Roasted Tomato Goat Cheese Baguettes

Colorful, flavorful, easy, and can be made ahead!  Just a few of the many fine attributes of this appetizer recipe.  I first made it when we had a bountiful harvest of small tomatoes – oven roasting them concentrated the flavors, and they kept well in the refrigerator. When we wanted an appetizer, we simply toasted some baguette slices, spread with softened goat cheese and topped with the roasted tomatoes and basil.  Try it, you’ll like it!

Ingredient List:

Tomatoes, washed and dried  – I have used Roma and other small tomatoes, sweet cherry or grape, and yellow pear tomatoes.  I have not used the large slicing tomatoes* with this – too meaty and juicy.  If using Roma or other small tomato, slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick and seed as best as possible.   If using grape, cheery, yellow pear, etc., slice in half, stem end to bottom.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic – Fresh cloves, peeled and smashed – to your taste

Goat Cheese

Baguette bread slices

Directions:

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the garlic and olive oil.  Use enough olive oil to coat the tomatoes.  Let marinate about 30 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to place the tomatoes in individual layers on baking pans lined with release foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 1-1/2 hours until they have reduced in size, intensified in color, and are maybe even a little caramelized.  Let cool.  Use immediately on toasted baguette slices* spread with softened goat cheese – top with a fresh basil leaf!  Or cover and refrigerate.

*Toast the baguette slices while the oven is hot – lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil and toast for 10 to 20 minutes or until desired “toastiness.”

**Update – an experiment and great results!  I just experimented with this technique with a larger tomato.  My husband purchased a large bunch of tomatoes on the vine and I could tell we were not going to eat them all before they went bad.  So I thought I would roast them and see how they turned out.  Turns out, just fine!  I used the same technique, trying to remove as many seeds as possible and cut them about 1/4″ thick.  Tossed gently in a bowl with smashed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  I was short on time, so I increased the oven temperature to  350 degrees and roasted them for about an hour, turned and roasted about 15 minutes more.  If I do this again on this size tomato, I will use the lower oven temperature and the longer roasting time – as in the original post – 300 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or so.  However, they still were delicious and I used them to make a bold presentation with the addition of arugula leaves, whole grain bread, and a few Kalamata olives in the center of the platter.  Beautiful!!