Delicious Eats

Warm Kale and Artichoke Dip

COVER. Crossroads hi resThat retro classic, spinach and artichoke dip laden with cream cheese and sour cream, is transformed into a contemporary version that is still rich and creamy but allows the vegetables to shine. Kale’s chewy texture and peppery kick make it a bold stand-in for spinach. When sautéing the artichokes, take care not to let them brown; you want the dip to keep its beautiful pale color. The cashew cream needs to be prepared a day in advance, so plan accordingly. Serve with Harissa Potato Chips, Lentil Crackers, or raw vegetables, or try putting it on baked potatoes or using it as a filling for stuffed pasta, such as cappellacci.



8 large artichoke hearts (see Note) or two 15-ounce cans artichoke hearts in water

2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter stick

2 shallots, minced

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup dry sherry

1 cup Cashew Cream

1 cup Vegetable Stock

½ cup nutritional yeast flakes (see note)

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

6 cups baby kale, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Smoked paprika, for garnish




  1. If using fresh artichoke hearts, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the artichoke hearts and blanch for 10 minutes, or until slightly tender; a paring knife should slide in easily. Drain the hearts and plunge into an ice bath to “shock” them—i.e., stop the cooking and cool them quickly. Drain and coarsely chop. If using canned artichokes, simply drain and chop.


  1. Put a large deep sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter substitute. When it has melted, add the shallots, garlic, and artichoke hearts and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.


  1. Add the wine and sherry and cook for 1 minute to evaporate some of the alcohol. Add the cashew cream, stock, nutritional yeast flakes, and thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until thick, 35 to 40 minutes; stir occasionally to make sure the cream mixture doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of the pan.


  1. Fold in the kale a few handfuls at a time and continue to simmer until the kale is soft and the artichokes have broken down slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. (The dip will keep for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat over medium-low heat, stirring often.)


  1. If the dip appears too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of stock or water.


  1. Spoon the dip into a serving bowl, dust with smoked paprika, and serve with the potato chips, crackers, or sliced raw vegetables.



Artichoke Hearts

To prepare artichoke hearts, fill a large bowl halfway with water. Squeeze in the juice of 2 lemons, and toss the lemon halves into the water too. Working with one artichoke at a time, use a vegetable peeler to trim the tough outer part of the stem. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the top 1 inch of the artichoke crown and then snap off or cut off all of the remaining leaves. Run a paring knife around the base of the artichoke to remove any tough green parts or bits of leaves. Cut the artichoke in half. Using a sharp spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the spiky purple center leaves and fuzzy choke inside and discard. Transfer the prepared artichoke hearts to the lemon water as you work, to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.


Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Nutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savory quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.


Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen, with Scot Jones, Serafina Magnussen, and Joann Cianciulli. (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.