Artichoke Dip

This is one of those dishes that everyone, whatever their tastes may be, loves. It’s really good. I make this as comfort food as well as for parties. It is tasty with crudites, steamed broccoli, toasted bits of bread, chips, or whatever you like.

It contains one of my favorite seasonings: nutritional yeast. According to Wikipedia, “Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses for a period of 7 days and then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging it.” It’s flaky, yellow, and vaguely cheesy tasting. When combined with garlic, blended cashews, artichoke hearts and lemon juice, there is alchemy. It makes vegan food taste cheesy…in a good way. It’s great in salad dressing or when making a vegan fondue. The topping for this dish is also good on pasta dishes, like a vegan Parmesan cheese. I recommend!

If you need a crowd pleaser that is vegan friendly and soy free, this is the one.

Artichoke Dip

3 cups artichoke hearts, plus marinating liquid
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
1 head garlic, peeled
1 bunch swiss chard, spinach, or other dark leafy greens
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hemp seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste

Preheat oven to 350F

In a food processor, blend 1/2 of the artichokes with the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. It should be thick, like a dip. Add more cashews if not. When pureed, add the chard and pulse until it is chopped finely. Add the other half of the artichoke hearts and pulse so that some of them remain chunky. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne. Spread this into a baking dish. In a small bowl mix hemp seeds, a little more nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and cayenne into something that tastes delicious and sprinkle on top of dip. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the dip is hot and browning slightly. It is delicious hot or cold.
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