Spinach-Dip Bread Bowl

Okay, we secretly call this "80s Potluck Dip." Remember? With that sweet Hawaiian bread? And the Knorr soup mix? Yum. This version is healthier — with wheat bread, no MSG, extra spinach, and yogurt and cottage cheese swapped in for some of the mayo — but it's still totally scrumptious. If your children are repulsed by spinach, then don't let them wring it out — a process whereby a large soupy packet of vegetable turns into a fist-size ball of green dryer lint — but otherwise, this is a fun job. As is hollowing out the loaf, since the fact that the bowl is really bread — and you can tear it up and eat it afterward — will blow your kids away. Dinner's a party when appetizers become the main course.

Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes

Ingredients

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup plain Greek 2 percent yogurt (if you can't get the Greek kind, then drain regular plain yogurt in a coffee-filter-lined sieve for a couple of hours so it gets nice and thick)
    1/2 cup cottage cheese
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed, drained, then squeezed dry by the handful
    1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
    Black pepper
    Lemon
    1 round loaf bakery wheat bread, the top sliced off and diced into 1-inch cubes, and the inside torn out and cut or pulled into pieces.

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat and saute onion with salt, stirring frequently, until it's very nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic right at the end, and saute, stirring, another minute before turning off the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor whir together yogurt, cottage cheese, and mayonnaise until smooth. Add the slightly cooled onion mixture and spinach, and whir until nearly smooth.
  3. Scrape dip into a bowl, stir in water chestnuts, then season to taste with pepper, a squeeze or two of lemon juice, and more salt.
  4. Scoop into the hollowed loaf or — good-bye germs! — individually hollowed-out rolls, and serve with raw veggies and the bread innards, or try Homemade Pita Chips or Homemade Tortilla Chips.

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