This cold, creamy dip more than lives up to to its name. You sauté fresh spinach in several cloves of garlic, thereby making it uber-garlicky, but I also put in enough lemon juice for it to rival the garlic flavor. Add some cream cheese and sour cream and let the flavors meld for a combination your cracker won't be able to resist. This dip forever ruined my opinion of the cold spinach dip made with Knorr's soup mix, but of course fresh ingredients always win out.
Warning: The smell of garlic will fill in the air in your house, which I like, but it got my friend Rachel banned from making this dip in her parents' kitchen.
Garlicky Spinach Dip
(from one of my friend Marian's cookbooks)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 garlic cloves (original recipe called for 10 cloves, but I find 5 plenty garlicky)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¾ lb. (12 cups loosely packed) baby spinach, big stems pulled off and leaves coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sour cream
Juice of ½ lemon
Squeeze garlic cloves through a press, stopping every few cloves to scrape out the garlic left behind in the press. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until it is nice and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach, raise the heat to high, and stir until it wilts. The spinach will turn bright green and start to give off liquid. Cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season the spinach with salt and pepper and scrape it onto a cutting board and let cool a bit. Chop the spinach fine with a chef’s knife. Scoop the spinach into the bowl with the cream cheese, leaving as much liquid behind on the board as possible. Add the sour cream and lemon juice, and mash with a big fork until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may store in the refrigerator for a few days before serving, but bring it to room temperature before serving. The longer it sits in the fridge, the stronger the garlic flavor will become.