Thursday, October 13, 2011
Greek Spinach Dip for the Michigan-Michigan State Game
I'm a proud graduate of the University of Michigan; my ex-husband, Stuart, attended medical school at Michigan State University. Needless to say, the intra-state rivalry has always been a lot of fun for us! When Stuart and I were married, we hosted a party each year in honor of the big Michigan-Michigan State football game.
After we met, Stuart used to follow me around, offering to take me to the game. It didn't happen that year, 'cause the tickets are extremely popular and hard to come by ... and expensive.
Stuart did get tickets for the game in 1990, when we were expecting Jeremy. I had to buy a large sweatshirt to wear to the game, to go over the "baby bump". We still consider it Jeremy's first Michigan-Michigan State game, even if he didn't get to see anything that time.
So, what to serve this year in honor of the game? My family's traditions have changed, as has the family unit itself; but the need for appropriate food for this important occasion remains a constant.
Michigan State's mascot is a Spartan, named for the famous warriors of the ancient Greek city of Sparta. So it only made sense to make a spinach dip - which would feature MSU's team colors of green and white - and to give it a Greek flair with oregano and lemon and feta.
This is gooey and rich, with a vibrant lemon flavor that is distinctive and shines through. And if you serve it with maize- and blue-colored chips, you've got Michigan's team colors invited to the party, as well!
Greek Spinach Dip
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
5 ounces feta, divided
chips or crackers, for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a flat 3-cup baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, salt, pepper and oregano; saute until the vegetables are translucent. Add the spinach; saute until wilted.
Zest the lemon, then juice it. Add the zest and juice to the spinach, then place the spinach mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Stir the yogurt, mozzarella, and 4 ounces of the feta into the spinach mixture; place the spinach into the prepared baking dish, then top with the remaining feta.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is starting to brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot, with chips or crackers.
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