Fire-Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip with Whole-grain Crostini
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts
1 cup jarred fire-roasted red peppers, minus 2 T. reserved for serving (see below)
3 anchovy fillets
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 head of garlic
1 t. + 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
¼ t. ground cayenne (or less, if desired)
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. reserved fire-roasted red peppers (see above)
- To roast the garlic, first preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top ½ inch of the head of garlic and discard. Pour 1 t. olive oil over the top of the cut head of garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil, place on a sheet pan, and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Let cool. When ready to use, squeeze the whole head of garlic; this should cause the roasted cloves to fall right out, leaving the inedible papery skins behind -- like magic!
- To prepare artichokes, drain cans and rinse artichokes in a colander under cool running water. Dry thoroughly on clean kitchen towels. Set aside. For the red peppers, drain liquid from the can and blot peppers dry with paper towels. By drying the vegetables well, you allow the olive oil that we will add later to really incorporate into the dip. If you don't put enough effort into this step, your dip will turn out too watery and the olive oil won't combine, leaving you with a sad, greasy, unappetizing dip, so don't be lazy here!
- In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine nearly all of the peppers (saving a small handful, ~2 T., for serving), artichokes, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, parm, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined. If using a blender, you will get a creamier, more uniformly pureed dip. If you use a food processor, you will get a chunkier, more heterogeneous dip. Both are good; which machine you use just depends on what type of dip you like. (I prefer using a food processor.)
- With the food processor or blender still whirring, gradually stream in 3 T. olive oil. The dip should become a little thicker and smoother. If necessary, add or save a little bit of olive oil to reach this consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- Make a few whole-grain crostini to serve alongside. To do this, slice a loaf of the whole-grain bread of your choice into slices. Toss bread with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast on baking sheets in the 425-degree oven, flipping once, until lightly browned on both sides, ~10-15 minutes.
- To serve, spoon dip into a serving bowl. Top with the reserved roasted red peppers, pine nuts, parsley, and a little extra extra olive oil. Serve with crostini for liberal dunking. Can be made a day ahead and served either chilled or room temperature.