Make Ahead

Artichoke Dip (Which You Could Make into Tapenade by Adding Capers)

May  4, 2010
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves about 1 cup
Author Notes

In my family, we cut our teeth on artichokes. There was never a party without an artichoke dip, artichoke hearts were in every salad, and steamed artichokes served with melted butter or a mayonnaise-based salad dressing were a staple of my childhood. I invented this out of a conglomeration of recipes I got from my mother. It can be served with thin-sliced and toasted baguettes, crackers, or as a spread on a sandwich. (I like it on a grilled swiss cheese sandwich.) And, as lizthechef said below, you can double it for a picnic! —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

Drbabs has created an excellent artichoke dip! I doubled this for a family picnic. I took her advice and included a whole, cut up Meyer lemon rather than the zest. This is so tasty I only added a touch of sea salt and finished it off with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of my best olive oil. Note: I used frozen artichoke hearts that I thawed overnight in the fridge. Thumbs up! —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • 1 jar good marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through garlic press (or more to taste)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (Note: if you use Meyer lemon, you can just put 1/2 lemon in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 dashes smoked paprika
  • 1 to 2 dashes cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
  1. Place artichoke hearts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, 1 dash each of paprika and cayenne in the work bowl of a food processor and process till the artichokes are chopped very small and everything is more or less blended together.
  2. Remove the mixture from the work bowl and stir it well. Taste for seasoning and add paprika, cayenne, salt, and more olive oil as desired. Stir well before serving. To serve, place in a pretty bowl or shallow dish, sprinkle with more olive oil and the toasted pine nuts.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Caryn Brion Wooster
    Caryn Brion Wooster
  • JanetFL
  • AntoniaJames
  • Lizthechef

33 Reviews

Alison July 4, 2018
This tastes "healthy" which is fine if that's what you're looking for. I doctored and doctored but at the end of the day it's basically chopped up artichokes.
drbabs July 4, 2018
Hi Alison. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.
jackie April 24, 2020
I absolutely love this recipe! Can't thank you enough for it. I'm going to make it again this weekend during coronavirus lockdown.
drbabs April 24, 2020
Thank you for letting me know. Enjoy!
Caryn B. June 25, 2018
This is a good recipe. I used canned artichokes instead of jarred (because I had them on hand already) and subbed nutritional yeast flakes for the parm cheese (I can't tolerate cheese), and sunflower seeds for the pine nuts (and put them in the processor with the other ingredients) and realized this is very similar to how I make a Romesco dip except for the roasted red peppers. Next time I'll try with the capers, but I think the lemon juice and zest added just enough zing! Good with tortilla chips or crackers, or even as a sandwich spread. Thanks!
drbabs June 25, 2018
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Jenny A. June 22, 2018
That should read “mentioned that” not menthe..
Jenny A. June 22, 2018
No one has menthe artichokes turning brown. Did anyone experience this or does the acid keep it looking fresh? It sounds delicious!
JanetFL July 27, 2013
WOW! I cannot wait to try this. Incredibly, I can now buy Meyer lemons in my small-town grocery store. Thank you, Barbara!
drbabs July 27, 2013
Thank you, Janet! I hope you enjoy!
DAVILCHICK December 1, 2012
drbabs you never steer me wrong. Made this yesterday for a dinner party we're having tonight. It could NOT be easier or yummier. I love the kick that the cayenne gives it. Definitely a keeper for me. Thanks!!!
drbabs December 1, 2012
Wow, davilchick, you just made my day! I'm so glad y'all liked it!
micook May 1, 2011
I"ve made this twice in the last week for different groups and everyone loved it. Used some that was leftover on the bottom of a pizza that was topped with leeks, mushrooms and some leftover Addictive Asparagus. Yum!
drbabs May 1, 2011
Thanks for letting me know--I'm so glad you liked it! (LOVE the pizza idea!)
hungryinbrooklyn July 30, 2010
I love love love capers; my husband uses them whenever he can or we have them. And there's nothing better than a caper berry in a martini (rather than an olive), so I'm told; I can't drink 'em.
drbabs July 30, 2010
Hi hungryinbrooklyn. I love capers, too, but my husband hates them! If you make the dip with capers (tapenade), please let me know how it turns out.
AntoniaJames May 20, 2010
Made this yesterday for a small dinner party last night. Everyone loved it!! Threw a big handful of fresh parsley in and omitted the paprika and cayenne, as not everyone here likes it, and roasted the garlic before adding. It turned out just beautifully. Made baguettes using Mrs. Child's recipe/technique, for the first time ever, with great success . . . served with this, sliced thinly (but not toasted). Used Trader Joe's marinated artichoke hearts. Definitely a keeper. ;o)
drbabs May 20, 2010
So glad you liked it, and i love your variations! I'm going to try it with roasted garlic next time.
Lizthechef May 15, 2010
In the middle of a very casual dinner party, we all checked out with another drink while I read and respond to you... Thank you, Bill, for dissing those salty bugs called capers... BTW, I am tripling your recipe to try out on my step-kids, total foodies, at a picnic tomorrow.
pierino May 15, 2010
We must here stand up for the humble caper bud (although don't care too much for the bigger caper berry). We love capers packed in sea salt. A highly recommended brand is Rustichella, the same company that makes wonderful pastas. First soaked in cold water and rinsed they are exquiste with smoked salmon, great with oil packed tuna and indispensible for pasta putanesca. Tapenade is not tapenade without capers.
drbabs May 16, 2010
Y'all are cracking me up....pierino, I love capers and will look for Rustichella.
drbabs May 20, 2010
Thanks for the thumbs up--so glad you liked it!
Lizthechef May 13, 2010
DrBabs, I just signed up to test your recipe for an EP - in terms of oz what size jar of artichokes do you use? I have a 12 oz bag in the freezer and will use it all unless you suggest otherwise. Signed, a fellow caper-hater...
drbabs May 13, 2010
Hi Liz. I'm so excited that you'll be testing my recipe! I used a 12 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts that I got from Trader Joes. (About 1/4 of it is marinade, though, so the dry weight is probably more like 8 ounces.) I think you can use the whole bag--you just might need to up the seasoning some to your taste. Have fun! I'm looking forward to seeing how you like it.
drbabs May 15, 2010
Liz, did you see Bill Maher's show last night? One of his "new rules" is to stop putting capers on his food!!
pierino May 6, 2010
Drbabs, respectfully, this is not tapenade. Where are the capers? I know I can be criminally obsessive about this stuff at times, but the very name "tapenade" derives from the provencale word for caper buds. I'm sure your artichoke recipe tastes great but it's something else other than tapenade.

If it matters, I always have bags of artichokes and peas in the freezer. They hold up well.
drbabs May 6, 2010
Well, pierino, I always learn something from you and today is no exception. I clearly did not know that that was the origin of the word. I actually think capers would be a wonderful addition to this, but my husband hates them so I don't use them if I'm making something for him to eat. I admire your obsessiveness, and will change the title. Thanks for letting me know. (I usually have artichokes and peas in the freezer, too; I happen to like marinated artichokes so I use them as well.)
This looks so delicious! I just HAPPEN to have a bunch of little baby artichokes in the frig looking for something to do.
lastnightsdinner May 5, 2010
Oh, how I love artichoke dips, and this sounds wonderful.
AntoniaJames May 4, 2010
Sounds so, so good. Mr. T was just commenting the other day -- when I told him about this week's themes -- how much he likes artichokes, and how he wishes we'd have them on the menu here more often. Am really looking forward to making this! ;o)
drbabs May 4, 2010
Thanks! I hope it turns out well for you.
Lizthechef May 4, 2010
This looks very good. I have extra artichoke hearts - frozen and canned - but none with marinade. OK to use? I have everything on hand to try your recipe - fun!
drbabs May 4, 2010
Thanks! (My camera isn't working or I'd have a photo--sorry.) It's OK to use canned, frozen or jarred in marinade. Just drain well and adjust the seasoning to your taste.