This artichoke roasted hazelnut dip is inspired by one of the homemade spreads at Purple Cafe. I had the pleasure of dining there last week with my family when two of my boys’ spring breaks coincided for one brief but lovely weekend.
I split the batch and made half with just a little sun-dried tomato added to it. It gave the dip a nice peachy color and a little tang. The half without the tomato really sang with the flavor of the roasted hazelnuts. It took us a while to decide which variation we preferred, both were good, but the half without the sun-dried tomato got the edge. The photo is of the batch with the sun-dried tomatoes.
I used DuChilly hazelnuts from Holmquist Orchards— no business between us, my co-op just has these hazelnuts in bulk. And they are the best kind IMHO, they are sweeter and have very thin skins. But I’m sure the regular round kind of hazelnuts would work fine, too.
I wanted to share this before I got started on my weekend but now I’m off to bed, I’m skating both my programs tomorrow at a small event, Fiesta Skate, I hope it will go well.
- 2 cups hazelnuts, to roast (you will only need a scant 1 c. of roasted hazelnuts for the dip but you won't regret the leftovers)
- 1½ cups jarred artichoke hearts (packed in water) or 10 oz.
- ¼ cup water from jar of artichokes
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. sun-dried tomato (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Put hazelnuts on baking sheet, roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Rub the hazelnuts between your fingers, or using a kitchen towel and your hands to rub them. The skin will come easily off of some, but not all, of the hazelnuts. Don't work too hard, it's not a big deal for some of the skin to be on them. Use the hazelnuts with more of the skin off for the dip, save the rest for other uses.
- Blend a scant 1 cup of hazelnuts plus the other ingredients in a high-powered blender. Adjust salt to taste.
- If you use the optional sun-dried tomato, the spread will have a sharper, livelier taste. But without them the flavor of the roasted hazelnuts will stand out more.