- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, regular or low-fat (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp milk, half-and-half, or heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts, minced
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cans (7 3/4 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed,and chopped, or see Fork in the Road for a crabmeat substitution
- Kosher or coarse salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Stir together the cream cheese, milk, bell pepper, Parmesan, parsley, scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper in a medium-size bowl until well blended. Blend in the artichoke hearts. Taste and season with salt.
Transfer the mixture to a small shallow baking dish and bake until bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. You may want to pass it under the broiler during the last few minutes to give it a beautiful golden top. Serve hot.
Fork in the Road: This addictive dip can be made with crab instead of artichokes, or made with half the amount of each and baked in two smaller dishes.
Lemony Parmesan Crab Dip: Swap out the artichoke hearts for 1 pound crabmeat. Or, for half artichoke and half crab, divide the cream cheese mixture in half, add 1 can of artichoke hearts (chopped) to one portion and ½ pound crabmeat to the other. Put each of them into a 2-cup shallow baking dish, and proceed with baking in Step 3, baking them until each is browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve this decadent dip with crackers or raw vegetables. You can also scoop it on crostini. And it would be very cool to serve it with leaves of steamed large artichokes.