2 cups lightly packed fresh basil
½ cup Basil Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (optional but recommended)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Salt to taste
4 fresh artichokes, cleaned or 1 (14 ounce) can of artichokes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bags fresh spinach
1 teaspoon salt for spinach
8 ounces softened cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1½ teaspoons chili flakes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups shredded cheese, grated on large holes of box grater
In a food processor, combine basil, Basil Olive Oil, garlic, and pine nuts. Process to a uniform, creamy consistency.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Once homogenized, mix in the butter and add salt to taste.
If using canned artichokes, skip to step 5.
Start by cleaning the artichokes. Peel the outer layers off until you reach the softer bracts/leaves. Chop off the leaves where they start to meet the artichoke heart and chop the end of the stem off. Using a paring knife, clean up the outside of the artichoke heart and the remaining stem until most of the green stuff is gone.
Next, scoop out the fibrous stuff in the middle of the heart using a spoon. Set aside in a bowl of water and lemon juice to prevent from browning while you clean the rest.
Boil or steam the artichoke hearts until they become soft and a fork can be easily poked in and out, about 7-8 minutes. Let dry/cool. When done, chop them to a medium/large dice.
While artichokes are cooking, in a large Dutch oven, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan and then add the spinach. Cook until just wilted and softened, not too mushy.
Remove spinach, dry very well, and chop up.
Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream to a large bowl or stand mixer and mix. Then add shallot, garlic, 1 cup of cheese mixture, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and lemon juice and mix.
Then add the chopped artichoke hearts and spinach. Mix until combined.
Scoop into a baking pan and cover with the remaining 1-2 cups of cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, then under broiler for 2 minites until cheese is nicely browned.
Pull out and let cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle the pesto on top and enjoy!