The Academy Awards are this Sunday. Need to bring something to a party, or want an extra dip for your own gathering? Try this suitably classy baked artichoke dip with goat cheese and pesto from the stalwart Chicago restaurant Uncommon Ground.
Baked Artichoke Dip with Goat Cheese and Pesto
For the pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the dip:
1 lb goat cheese (at room temperature)
1 lb neufchatel cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup half-n-half
2 lbs artichoke hearts, quartered
Parmesan cheese (for topping)
1. For the pesto: Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. For the dip: Preheat oven to 350°. Put room temperature goat cheese and neufchatel in a food processor and blend until smooth, with no lumps.
3. Add half-n-half, artichoke hearts, and 1 cup of pesto. Pulse until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour into an oven-proof casserole dish and top with grated parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes or until top becomes golden brown.
6. Serve with olive oil crostini or your favorite crispy bread or crackers.