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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
The trick here is to cook the garlic slowly—just until it turns golden so that it mellows and gets sweeter. You can use this as a dip for almost everything, from bread sticks to celery sticks. I like to use it to lighten up my spread by putting out a mix of veggies (such as carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli) around the dip.
Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and toss them into a large mixing bowl. Leave at room temperature to soften.
Squeeze the 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. Let stand to cool a bit.
Chop the spinach finely 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 can make the dip up to a few days in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Before serving, bring to room temperature. The longer that it sits in the fridge, the stronger the garlic flavor will become.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is per 1/4 cup serving and 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving