Spinach artichoke gratin

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Do you really need another Spinach artichoke dip? You do when it is this good. Not so over-stuffed with cheese to turn it into rubber and not so heavy with mayonnaise that it is greasy or separates when reheated, yet still very flavorful and just creamy enough

This bakes up more like a gratin so I recommend slicing up a baguette and schmearing the slices with the gratin rather than trying to drag a tortilla chip through it

For a hint of heat, offer up a selection of favorite hot sauces and let guests help themselves

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced sweet onion, such as Vidalia
2 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and finely minced
9 – 11 ounce box/bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (see Note)
14 ounce can whole artichoke hearts in water, drained, roughly chopped (see Note 2)
8 ounce block cream cheese, ART*
1/3 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
House salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill
1 fresh nutmeg, for grating
1 cup packed grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
1 18 inch long French sourdough baguette, for service

Method
Place a half sheet pan on the rack below the rack on which the gratin will bake

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the foam from the butter subsides, stir in onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir garlic into the onions and slide the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly

In a large bowl, stir together the onions, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, mayonnaise, half the Gruyere, the 1/3 cup of Parmesan and salt, freshly milled pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste until very well combined

Mix the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan together

Spoon the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate then smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Gruyere-Parmesan

Bake until hot and bubbling and the edges turn golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes (to further brown the top run the gratin under the broiler until the desired color is reached, watching it carefully)

Serve Spinach artichoke gratin with sliced sourdough baguette and palate knives for spreading

Note: Not every box of frozen spinach is the same weight. That can vary by brand and even within brand. Be sure to check that you have a box (or bag) that is at least 9 ounces but no more than 11

Note 2: I believe artichoke hearts in water in cans have more flavor than frozen artichokes but aren’t so saturated in a piquant dressing like the bottled ones. I buy the 14 ounce cans based on price, which can vary. Sometimes the whole large artichokes are less expensive than the smaller ones, sometimes they aren’t. Of course the smaller whole artichokes don’t need to be chopped as much. For processing the larger ones, I slice in half the long way then cut each half into thirds the short way. I want my guests know they are in the gratin so I don’t chop them too finely. Don’t buy chopped artichoke hearts because you never know what you might end up with

*Having the cream cheese ART – At Room Temperature – will make it easy to stir it into the other ingredients

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