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Lemon Za'atar Spinach & Artichoke Dip
& enjoying my newfound independence
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, musings, and faves in your inbox every Wednesday! Paid subscribers get even more! Learn more about my paid membership here. You can also try a week for free!
Grant left for tour this week, and it has been fun finding my flow as an independent person. The two of us pride ourselves on being able to spend a ton of time together without getting irritated with one other — we scoff at those who say they can’t wait to get away from their husbands or wives. At the same time, we both value our individuality, so it has been fun for me to rediscover what it’s like to only think about myself in my daily schedule. Especially when it comes to cooking for one: it takes a lot less time, and I have definitely leaned into eating some “girl dinners.” It’s nice to do what I want to do at any given moment. It’s a freedom I haven’t experienced in a while.
My best friends are coming into town this weekend, which I’m looking forward to, and I’ve been working away on some exciting upcoming partnerships and new recipes. I’m particularly stoked about this week’s paid member recipe (Hint, it’s going to make your meal prep life more exciting).
I also feel like I have been in a bit of a book slump. I haven’t read anything in a while that has really captivated me and sucked me in. I’ve been reading My Brilliant Friend, which so many people have loved, but it’s really not hooking me, which is disappointing since I really enjoyed The Lying Life of Adults. Feel free to comment if you have any recs! I want to devour some books this summer.
THINGS I’M LOVING!
I got sent these De Soi Tre Rosé drinks that I am obsessed with, which is funny because I’m really not much of a beverage girl. They’re marketed as Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Apertifs, but if I’m being completely honest, they don’t taste like a cocktail or mocktail at all. They just taste like a really delicious, healthy sparkling juice. I love their ingredients too. It’s low in sugar and just made of juice and caffeine-free tea, but it also has a bunch of adaptogens in it, so it’s nice and calming! Upon further research, I have also discovered this company is owned by Katy Perry, which I had no clue about until I started writing this haha.
I have been on the hunt for a pair of linen pants for a bit, but I could never get the fit quite right. I wanted a look of something chic but relaxed. I ordered these Linen Pants from Mango, and I was a little surprised when they came because they have teeny tiny neutral stripes on them which you can’t really see in the picture unless you zoom in (which I didn’t). However, I actually really ended up loving the stripes! The pants are super comfortable and fit really well (true to size). Mission accomplished!
This one’s kind of random, but I was looking for a cute measuring cup to use in my food videos, and I found this Glass Measuring Cup that’s so dainty-looking and pretty! I just love the look of this one so much more than some of the other measuring cups out there.
I love all things spinach and artichoke, as you’ve probably gathered from some of my other recipes like my Spinach and Artichoke Baked Potatoes and Spinach & Artichoke Dip Quinoa with Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas.
One of my go-to moves for making spinach and artichoke Dip is using Greek yogurt as the creamy base. It just makes the dish feel lighter and adds some protein! I wanted to make a summery version of a spinach and artichoke dip, so my mind immediately went to adding lots of lemon. To balance all that citrus out, I also thought it would be fun to add some herbaceous za’atar into the dip, and boy did it not disappoint.
If you’re not familiar, za’atar is a traditional spice blend from the Middle East. There is some variation in what goes into the blend depending on the region, but it typically consists of thyme or oregano, with toasted sesame, salt, and sumac. Za’atar (an Arabic word) is also an actual herb in the thyme family, but many blends don’t actually contain the za’atar plant. The seasoning is often mixed with olive oil and enjoyed with pita, but it can be sprinkled on things like veggies, added to meats as a seasoning, used in dips, etc.
The Za’atar I buy is from Z & Z!! They are a family-owned business in DC that sources their spices from Palestinian farmers. They have more info about Za’atar on their site, and I buy their za’atar on Amazon.
So here’s the big question: Is this dip meant to be eaten hot or cold?
I actually envisioned this dip as a cold summer dip, but in reality, you can eat it any which way you like! The way the recipe plays out ends up with a dip that is warm, but you can always eat it room temp or chilled. There are no rules, and the recipe will stand no matter the temperature!
Lemon Za’atar Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Ingredients (serves 4)
⅛ cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
6 cloves crushed/finely minced garlic
10 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 (10 oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup Grated Parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp za’atar
Salt & pepper
1. Heat up a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until shallots have begun to soften. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute until garlic is fragrant. Add the spinach, and sauté for 7-8 minutes until spinach has fully cooked down. Mix in the artichoke hearts and remove from heat. If you want to eat the dip cold, let the veggie mixture cool. Otherwise, proceed directly on to the next step.
2. Add the spinach and artichoke mixture to a large bowl along with the Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, za’atar, and a pinch of salt. Mix together, and serve warm, room temp, or chilled!