I attended a cookie decorating party last month and when I asked the host if I could bring anything besides myself, she said to bring some kind of appetizer. Something simple, she said. I considered my audience and a dip immediately came to mind.
While perusing through some cookbooks this recipe jumped square off the page. It’s actually titled “The Best Spinach Dip with Chipotle and Lime” in my copy of The Essential New York Times Cookbook. I was immediately skeptical until I read through the ingredient list. I loved the flavor combination: spinach, chipotle chilies, fresh cilantro, and fresh lime juice.
Is it the best? It’s definitely the best spinach dip I’ve ever tasted. Is it delicious? Absolutely. The chipotle chilies add smokiness while the lime juice adds brightness. I modified the original recipe and added more chipotle chilies and lime juice than the original recipe called for. I also used crème fraîche in place of sour cream, because it’s what I had on hand.
Because acid has a tendency to dull the vivid green color found in spinach, make this dip the same day you plan to enjoy it. Pairs well with sporting events (like the Super Bowl), and your favorite tortilla chips.
The Best Spinach Dip with Chipotle and Lime
Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser
Yield: about 3 cups
- Two 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche (you can use sour cream, but I had crème fraîche on hand)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
- juice of one small lime
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Bundle the spinach in a clean towel and squeeze out all excess moisture. You want it to be dry and free of all excess moisture as much as possible.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients (except the spinach and the tortilla chips) in your food processor and puree until smooth. About 90 to 120 seconds.
- Add the spinach – making sure to break it up into smaller pieces by hand – and pulse until all the ingredients are just combined. Taste for seasoning and balance.
- Garnish with some chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.