Califonia Bountiful
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Ultimate spinach dip

Ultimate spinach dip

Ingredients

Béchamel sauce
2 1/2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Dip
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup loosely packed and de-stemmed Bloomsdale spinach (see note)
1 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup béchamel
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Made with fresh spinach leaves and béchamel sauce, it's the ultimate spinach dip to wow family and friends.

Directions

For béchamel: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in flour until smooth. Continue stirring as flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until flour has softened and no longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and nutmeg. Makes 2 cups.

Chef's tip: With leftover béchamel, consider making a cheese sauce by reheating and stirring in grated cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper.

For dip: Heat oil in a sauté pan. Sauté spinach and shallots until spinach is slightly wilted. Add salt to season. Add sun-dried tomatoes, cheddar cheese and béchamel and heat until cheese is melted. Place in a small gratin dish and top with grated parmesan. Place under the broiler until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with grilled toast, pita chips or crackers.

Note: Another variety spinach variety may be substituted; however, Bloomsdale tends to be sweeter and holds up better when sautéed.

Serves 2