This 5 minute recipe for Italian style Artichoke Dip is a perfect quick and easy crowd-pleaser. With just a few staple pantry ingredients you can whip up a snack, appetizer, or as we do in Italy, a nice Aperitivo.
Every time we go back to Italy, it's mandatory a trip to the supermarket. We like to bring back home a lot of delicious things which cannot be found outside of Italy. The list includes cookies, pasta sauces, special flours, sometimes some special rice and pasta and antipasti.
Antipasto is the appetizer course. We don't eat appetizers at every meal. But often we start the meal with a few snacks before the main course. Especially on weekends when the family reunites at the table. Sharing appetizers is a very much appreciated part of the meal.
We eat cold meats, fresh cheeses, preserved vegetables and crostini or bread with dips and spreads (which we call Patè).
One of my favorite dips is the artichoke dip, which tastes exactly like preserved artichokes in olive oil. So flavorful and comforting, I always buy a fancy (and expensive) jar to bring home. And somehow until now I never thought of making it myself.
I guess in my head the process was too laborious with fresh artichokes, which are almost impossible to find in the Netherlands. So I never really researched the recipe.
One day we had some friends coming over and I didn't have anything to put on the table as a snack. After looking long at my pantry, I saw that can of artichoke hearts and started thinking while staring at it, "would it work? Nah, canned artichokes are tasteless... But maybe.. Mhh.. I will try!". I had no faith in it whatsoever. But I was hoping that if I dressed it with good quality olive oil and some lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the artichokes, it would be good enough. And boy, was I right! It was a total success!
Fresh artichokes vs. Canned artichoke hearts
I know it may seem absurd to compare a fresh vegetable to a canned one. There is no possible match. But for this recipe only, I want to consider a few key points, advantages, and disadvantages of both parties.
- Fresh artichokes are hard to find. They're available only for a short season and when you can find them are often very expensive (depending on where you live). Canned artichokes, on the other hand, are available all year long at the same price.
- Canned artichokes are very soft and their taste is very delicate. So they can only be used for a small variety of recipes. Fresh artichokes instead can be eaten raw, cooked enough to have a bite, or cooked until soft. In all cases, their flavor will be strong and delicious so they can be used for a large range of recipes.
- Fresh artichokes take hours to get cleaned and from a bunch of artichokes, you'll have only a small portion of eatable goods. Canned artichokes are ready in 5 seconds.
In summary, if the season is right and you get your hands on beautiful fresh artichokes, I suggest you use them for main course recipes. Like this Italian Shaved Artichoke Salad, this Artichoke and Mozzarella Lasagna or this Mashed Potato Gratin with Artichokes and Buffalo Mozzarella.
This artichoke dip will work very well with canned artichoke hearts and it will be ready in just 5 minutes with no fuss and the use of only a food processor or immersion blender.
If you like this recipe, try also these other Aperitivo snacks:
Italian Artichoke Dip
- 1 can Artichoke hearts (240g/8.5oz), or ⅞ fresh artichokes
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- If you use fresh artichokes, clean them properly to get only the hearts and boil them in lightly salted water until soft (about 15 minutes).
- Otherwise, drain the can of artichoke hearts and add them in the food processor.
- Add the lemon juice, a good quality olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Blend until you get a smooth cream, then add the minced parsley and mix well.
- Move the dip to a nice bowl and serve with bread and crackers.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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