This sophisticated spin on classic artichoke dip practically screams springtime! Here, a flavorful artichoke topping is piled high on a wheel of brie, then the whole dish is baked until just barely bubbly. It's downright decadent and it's totally delicious.
I can always rely on baked brie — it's a no-fail entertaining appetizer. It simply never gets old because there are a hundred different ways to prepare it. During the winter holidays, I smother the creamy cheese in a sinfully sweet praline sauce; in the throes of summer, a pile of sun-ripened berries is all it needs. It is timeless because it adapts to every pantry and season. Even springtime.
Inspiration for this spring-appropriate herbed artichoke topping came to me after a long and lazy afternoon leafing through my cookbook collection. At one point I stumbled upon a mouth-watering recipe for spinach & artichoke dip made with brie (brilliant!) and that got my culinary wheels spinning. Next thing I know, I was dreaming of a gussied up — make that grown-up — take on artichoke dip for my next impromptu gathering.
Using the best quality ingredients do make a difference for this appetizer. I personally prefer to use a mild, buttery brie. If you don't know what you like, ask your cheesemonger for suggestions. I also happen to be quite sensitive to the bitter taste that artichokes preserved in jars of brine can sometimes have, so I used frozen artichoke hearts here. If you like jarred artichokes, you can sub in your favorite kind, but I don't recommend using canned.
If you always keep these flavorful ingredients on hand, you'll always be ready to entertain. I'm thinking this savory spread will make a perfect Easter or Mother's Day appetizer — the one that gets everyone gathered around the table. Just be sure to share or you might not make it to dinner!
Baked Brie with Herbed Artichokes
Serves 4 to 6
1 (8-ounce) round of mild brie, top rind removed
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained and thoroughly dried
1 small garlic clove, pressed or minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons finely minced Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted baguette slices, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the brie in a round baking dish — use a dish that's a little bit larger than the cheese.
Combine the thawed artichoke hearts, garlic, Parmesan, mayonnaise, parsley, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon the mixture over and around the brie.
Bake until warm and soft but not oozing, 8 to 12 minutes. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley, if desired. Serve warm with toasted baguette slices for dipping.
1 (12-ounce) jar of best-quality artichoke hearts (drained and thoroughly dried) can be substituted for the frozen artichoke hearts.