Always a crowd pleaser and a quick go-to when you need to contribute something to a potluck. I first tried this recipe as a last minute attempt to make something for a party and it was delicious and super easy. I wrote the recipe on a little crumpled piece of paper to hold near and dear to my heart. It came with me through several moves from house to house. However, all good things must come to an end, and in the most recent decluttering sweep, I decluttered too much and threw out the recipe! But, what a great chance to rework the recipe my way! Not only is it a little healthier (melted cheese and garlic is healthy, right?), but locally sourced and grown.
At the Little House on Pine, we make kefir cheese (which you can use instead of sour cream) from good quality whole milk, as well as grow garlic, spinach, and cheese!…well, not cheese, but if there were a cheese tree, I would plant at least a dozen. We used to grow artichokes, however, they do not do well in cold and harsh winters, which believe it or not, we get in Maryland.
If you have looked at other recipes for spinach artichoke dip, you may wonder why you need both sour cream and cream cheese. I did. Sour cream is essentially coagulated cream, formed through a fermenting process, which thickens it. Cream cheese uses rennet (or a similar agent) to coagulate the solids. Cream cheese is then also cooked and pressed to further coagulate it and remove the majority of the whey. Kefir cheese functions similarly in this recipe and is made through a similar fermentation coagulation process, like sour cream, and is pressed to remove some of the whey, like cream cheese.