Artichoke, Spinach & Brie Bake
This is an outstanding side dish version of the popular hot artichoke and spinach dip. It goes extremely well with any holiday roast beef, turkey or ham. It can be assembled a day or two in advance and cooked along side your roast, making this vegetable side dish a time saver.
The dish starts with a base of creamed spinach. My recipe for that is below, but feel free to substitute your favorite creamed spinach recipe, if you wish. Use a good brand of artichoke hearts. They will be larger and easier to work with. We like a jarred band we find at Costco, but don’t use artichoke hearts that are seasoned and marinated in vinegar or oil. Freezing the brie will make is easier to dice into small cubes before folding it into the cream cheese. When baked, the cubes of brie will melt nicely on top of the seasoned artichoke hearts and make a delicious combination.
Artichoke, Spinach & Brie Bake
1 12 oz package frozen chopped spinach
2½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1½ cups milk
¼ tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
12 good quality canned, jarred or frozen whole artichoke hearts
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic
¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
⅛ tsp salt
2 tablespoons sherry
8 oz brie, frozen
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Cook the frozen spinach according to the package instructions. Squeeze dry with paper towels and set aside. Make a medium thick cream sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, cook & stir for 1 minute. Add the milk, stirring or whisking, without stopping until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Fold in the cooked spinach, season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside while preparing the next step.
Rinse and drain the artichoke hearts well, gently pressing out any excess can liquid, keeping the hearts as whole as possible. Melt the butter in a small sauté pan and sauté the garlic for a few seconds over medium heat. Add the parsley and sherry. When it comes to a boil, add the artichoke hearts and gently toss to coat until heated through and the hearts are coated with the butter and parsley, trying to keep the hearts as whole as possible. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
Add the cream cheese to a bowl and stir to soften it. Thirty seconds in the microwave will make it easier. Cut the frozen brie into ¼ inch cubes and using a spatula, add to the cream cheese (freezing the brie makes it easier to cut into cubes and blend with the cream cheese.
To assemble the dish, butter one medium or several individual oven proof baking dishes. Layer the creamed spinach on the bottom of the baking dish. Gently nestle the artichoke hearts on top of the spinach. Using a teaspoon and finger tips, dollop the brie mixture over the artichokes. No need to spread the cheese, it will melt and spread as it bakes. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees just until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.