Spinach Artichoke Sandwich
Spinach-Artichoke dip is a big favorite in our household especially during football season, so when we saw this recipe for a Spinach and Artichoke Dip Sandwich, we knew it couldn't miss. Cheesy, tangy, slightly spicy, toasted to a crispy golden brown, and just oozing deliciousness.
The base recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse's awesome Kicked Up Sandwiches book (ISBN 978-0-06-174297-2). This is the fourth recipe I've tried from the book and they all came out really well. The sandwich is easy to prepare and the only item you might not have on hand is Brie cheese. The recipe makes eight sandwiches but we only needed four, so I halved the recipe. Next time I'll just made the recipe as written and refrigerated the leftovers since everyone liked it so much.
I kind of ballparked the ingredients because the recipe called for 18 ounces of artichokes but I only had a 12-ounce jar so I ate a few of the hearts while doing the prep work and ended up with around nine ounces. The only Brie they had was in a five-ounce chunk (the recipe called for four ounces), so I just used the whole five-ounce package. Even with the changes, the sandwich still came out really well. The bacon was added this time, but since we don't use bacon in my spinach artichoke dip I think the sandwich would actually be better without it, and next time I'll omit the bacon.
Judging from the book's photo it looks like Emeril used a grill or panini-type press to toast his sandwich, but I don't have a panini so just cooked the sandwiches in butter like a grilled cheese and it was fine. The image below shows Emerill's sandwich on the left and mine on the right.
This is a definite keeper!
Spinach Artichoke Sandwich
- 4 strips bacon, chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) at room temperature
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 18 ounces canned or jarred marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- Two 9- or 10-ounce bags prewashed spinach
- 8 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 16 slices white sandwich bread
- Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel to drain.
- Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat remaining in the skillet. Add the 4 tablespoons butter, and when it has melted, add the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add one bag of spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes; then add the second bag and cook, stirring as needed, for 4 minutes, until the spinach is tender and the flavors have blended. Remove from the heat.
- Set a strainer over a bowl, and add the spinach-artichoke mixture to it. Allow the excess liquid to drain, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the three cheeses. Then add the warm spinach mixture and stir until nicely combined and the cheese has begun to melt. Stir in the bacon.
- To assemble: Evenly spread a packed 1/2 cup of filling between 2 slices of bread. Butter each side of the sandwich with about 1 teaspoon of the softened butter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Heat a skillet or a grill pan over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches, in batches, until they are browned on each side and the filling is warmed through, about 6 minutes. Cut the sandwiches, in half, and serve immediately.