Roasted Artichoke & Spinach Dip {Vegan}

Roasted Artichoke & Spinach Dip {Vegan}

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Vancouver is a great city to live in, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan (it’s also stupidly, ridiculously expensive, but that’s a whole other story).

We have so many restaurants and stores that cater to the veg-based demographic, and additionally, a lot of large plant-based companies call Vancouver home, like Daiya and Boosh.

Vancouver is also home to Karen McAthy, who is one of the pioneers in the world of plant-based cheesemaking right now.

A few years back, she was the chef at a place in Yaletown called Zend Lounge, and I remember trying an all-vegan charcuterie plate there, including their own house-made cheeses. Those were the early days of Karen’s obsession with fermentation, and boy, has a lot happened since!

There was the publication of her first cookbook, The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking in 2017. And then she opened the city’s first all vegan cheese shop, Blue Heron Creamery, which is still open every weekend.

In the past year, though, things have accelerated. They received funding and have now built and are starting to produce plant-based cheeses on a much bigger scale in their new production facility in Surrey. And she’s rewritten the book and published the second edition.

This edition contains a ton of updated info and recipes, and also a whole chapter of recipes that show you how to use your new cheeses now that you know how to make them!

What makes Karen’s work unique is that she’s applying traditional cheesemaking techniques to non-dairy ingredients. So her cheeses are fermented and aged in the same way a dairy milk cheese would be, just she doesn’t use dairy. This is a science that is both extremely new and as old as time, and it is a lifetime of learning. You can geek out with Karen and her microbes in her new book!

Meanwhile, let’s share a recipe. Karen and I made this together on a livestream a couple weeks back, but I wanted to share it with you guys here. I’ll have another recipe featuring one of Karen’s cheeses coming up for you next week.

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Dip {Vegan}

Karen McAthy
From "The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking, Second Edition" by Karen McAthy
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can artichokes in brine drained, reserve brine
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 tbsp oil Karen calls for grapeseed, but I used olive
  • 500 ml vegan ricotta get yours at Blue Heron
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, crushed and minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper black or white
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Place the artichokes on a baking sheet and toss well with the oil. Roast in the preheated oven, stirring once or twice, for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown in colour.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add a little oil and then the garlic and spinach. Cook until softened, a minute or two.
  • In a high-speed blender, combine the spinach, garlic and lemon with a splash or the reserved artichoke brine. Pulse a few times to break everything up and mix it together.
  • Add the artichoke hearts and pulse again.
  • Add the vegan ricotta and pulse together again. Season with salt and pepper and pulse again. You can create a creamier dip by pulsing more, an chunkier dip by pulsing less.
  • Serve with cruditΓ©s, bread and crackers. PS: this also makes a great pasta sauce, just thin it down with a little plant-based milk and the cooking water from the pasta.
Keyword vegan

 



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