A few weeks ago I woke up to the first real snowstorm of our British winter. Knowing there is fresh snow outside is one of the few things that can get me out of bed in a heartbeat. Since we only moved back to the UK last summer, our tropically acclimatised dogs have never seen snow. Needless to say, they were pretty baffled.
In need of something comforting, warm and nourishing, I made some Spinach and Artichoke Dip. We ate it with spiced pita crisps and carrots by the fire. It made for the perfect warm and cosy snack. Totally vegan and full of goodness, the usual creamy ingredients have been replaced with butter beans and instead of a crusty parmesan and breadcrumb topping I used mixed seeds and hot smoked paprika. I have experimented with a few versions of this dip using different vegan substitutes for the cream and cheese, but this is the recipe that satisfies all the cravings and is just as delicious as the cheesey versions.
2/3 cup butter beans
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 big handful of basil
pinch salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup chargrilled artichoke hearts
3 big handfuls fresh spinach (about 110g)
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/4 cup of mixed seeds
Preheat oven to 160 c
Saute the onion and garlic in a large frying pan, after 5 minutes add the fresh spinach to the pan. Once the spinach has wilted take the pan off the heat.
In a food processor blend the pine nuts, butter beans, lemon juice, basil, mustard and apple cider vinegar into a consistent puree. Then add the artichokes, spinach and onion mixture. Season to taste.
Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish and sprinkle with seeds and smoked paprika before putting in the oven for 12-15 minutes.