This delicious dip is full of great flavours, starting with wonderful rapini. The rapini brings wonderful flavour to this dish and by using mostly leaves, the nutty flavour of the rapini prevails. Rapini is in season now and is a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium and iron.
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A twist on the classic, this light artichoke dip features rapini, artichoke hearts and French-Canadian OKA Cheese. It also has a secret ingredient that makes it 2/3 lighter than that other dip!
Added to the rapini is artichoke hearts, both pureed and then with some chunks stirred in before baking, for texture. Next comes the wonderfully fruity and nutty Oka cheese, Parmesan, a bit of sour cream and ricotta cheese and finally, white kidney (cannellini) beans. Yes, beans! The kidney beans are roughly pureed with the rest of the dip ingredients to add some fibre and creaminess to the dip, without adding a lot fat and calories.
The addition of beans is brilliant really and I defy you to know they are even there. And I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that the addition of beans results in a dip that is 2/3 lighter than the usual cream cheese and mayonnaise version.
I think you’ll love this fabulous combination of flavours. Serve this dip with crostini or cut vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
- 1 bunch rapini (broccoli rabe)
- 2 (14 oz./398 ml) cans artichoke hearts, drained, DIVIDED
- 3/4 cup rinsed and drained canned cannellini (white kidney) beans
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup grated OKA cheese, DIVIDED (or substitute Emmenthal cheese)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- Salt and pepper, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Prepare the rapini: Rinse the rapini, but don't dry. Cut the rapini bunch 2-3 inches from the top, removing and discarding the stem ends. (You're trying to get mostly the leaves and very little of the stem). Place rapini in a large pot on the stove-top over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until rapini is wilted, about 3 minutes. Place wilted rapini into a fine mesh strainer and press well to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the rapini, 1/2 of the artichoke hearts, the kidney beans, ricotta cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, 1/2 of the OKA cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. Process until almost (but not completely) smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Roughly chop the remaining artichoke hearts and stir in. Taste mixture and add additional salt and pepper, as needed to heighten the flavours.
- Spoon mixture into an 8 or 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or similar size oven-safe dish). Top with remaining OKA cheese.
- Bake in preheated 350° F. oven until quite bubbly, about 35 minutes. If you'd like to brown up the top a bit, pop under the broiler for a few minutes at the end of cooking.
- Serve warm with crostini or cut vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.
Substitute widely available Emmenthal cheese for OKA cheese, if needed.
Be sure to drain your wilted rapini well. I like to press with a folded paper towel. You’ll avoid adding too much moisture to your mixture that way.
Be sure to add salt and pepper, as needed, to really bring all the flavours together.
This dip has about 20 calories per tablespoon.
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