Layered Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip

I hate to make generalizations, but most tasty dips have cream cheese in them. It’s just one of those basic truths of life. PB&J sandwiches need peanut butter. Dips need cream cheese.

So this dip recipe, of course, includes cream cheese. But it’s a little more elegant than your average dip. It’s actually kind of pretty.

If you’re holed up in the house and still afraid to go out after the polar vortex, treat yourself and whip up this dip. I think the flavor and the fresh, bright layers will add some cheer to your bleak winter day.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 medium red peppers
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (6 ounces)
2 cloves garlic
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 package ranch dressing mix
fresh parsley

First, roast the red peppers. If you don’t feel like doing this, you can simply buy a jar of roasted red peppers. For some weird reason, I actually enjoy roasting them myself. You can find directions for roasting peppers here.

While you wait for your roasted red peppers to cool down, roughly chop the artichoke hearts.
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And mince the garlic.
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Chop up the red peppers after removing the skins, seeds, and stems.
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Chop the fresh parsley, so that you have about two tablespoons.
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Combine the artichokes, garlic, peppers, and parsley in a bowl.
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Now for the cream cheese! Beat the ranch dressing mix with the two packages of cream cheese until it’s smooth and fluffy.
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Take a glass bowl and spread half the cream cheese mixture on the bottom.
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Then evenly spread the vegetable mixture over the cream cheese.
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Gently spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the vegetable layer.
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And that’s it! So simple and so pretty.
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You can store it in the fridge, covered, until you’re ready to serve. Or go ahead and dig in with some crackers. And just remember: it may be below zero outside, but at least it’s not bathing suit season!
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