This Artichoke and Kalamata Olive Spread recipe is one of my favorite appetizers to serve throughout the year, but I particularly appreciate its ease during the holidays. With so much on the schedule this time of year I cringe at the thought of spending an hour to make a dish to serve or take to a holiday pot luck. That’s why I keep the ingredients for this 5-minute recipe on hand to enjoy throughout the year.
So the other day when some East Coast friends called to say they’d like to swing through town on their Thanksgiving trip I didn’t bat an eye at the thought of last-minute entertaining. After all, the holidays are all about eating, drinking, and being merry, right?
That’s why, in partnership with Mike’s Hard Lemonade, I’m sharing this Artichoke and Kalamata Olive Dip recipe with you. Serve it with slices of toasted baguette, fresh and dried fruit, a wedge of brie and a charcuterie plate and you’ve got a last-minute appetizer buffet your guests will think you’ve spent hours preparing. Don’t forget to provide a choice of hot beverages like orange and cinnamon spiced tea, alongside cold ones like Mike’s Hard Cranberry Lemonade — which is the perfect flavor for the holidays!
Honestly, the hardest part about making this spread is getting the bread toasted just right. Be sure to slice the baguette thin enough that the bread doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the spread, but thick enough that the bread doesn’t burn when you’re trying to toast it. Around 1-inch thick is good, and a diagonal slice makes it look even prettier. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, brush them with olive oil, and toast them at 415° F for 3 to 6 minutes… just until light golden brown.
While they’re toasting, whir the artichoke hearts for a minute in the food processor then add the remaining ingredients and pulse until chopped but not pureed. You’re looking for texture in this spread, so just a few pulses ought to do it. Adjust the garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon juice to your preference: I like mine with a kick so I tend to add more of all three!
Artichoke and Kalamata Olive Spread
- 14 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained ([u]not [/u]marinated)
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Pulse artichoke hearts in food processor until slightly chopped.
- Add olives, cheese, capers, parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pulse repeatedly until chopped but not pureed.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
You can easily make this spread ahead of time if needed: just store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and return it to room temperature before serving. Don’t limit yourself to just serving it on bread, either: it makes an excellent topping for firm-fleshed white fish like halibut or cod, and it’s fantastic stuffed into a boneless, skinless chicken breast before baking, too!