Spinach dip is not something you reach for when you think traditional Caribbean snacks or fete (party) food, but you’re now finding it served at many of the restaurants in the major tourist destinations and capital cities throughout the islands. It’s no secret that we love cheese in the Caribbean and the same can be said for any type of “greens” like spinach, so it’s only natural that this recipe would show up on this website sooner rather than later. I must confess that this 4 cheese spinach dip is a hybrid of my daughters Kieana’s recipe, which I tweaked and kinda called my own?
2-3 cups chopped spinach (frozen/thawed)
1 bird pepper (deseed)
3/4 cup diced bell pepper
1 tablespoon parsley
2 cups cheddar
1 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup Romano
1/2 cup Parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup Asiago
1 clove garlic (finely diced)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 scallions chopped
* 1 tablespoon veg oil or cooking spray for greasing the baking container.
Note: You’ll notice that I said that this is a 4 cheese dip but I went in with 5 cheeses… the Parmesan is optional. Also, besides the cheddar and cream cheese, you can use your fav type of cheeses.
Grate the cheeses, dice the bird’s eye pepper (no seeds), garlic, bell pepper (any spicy pepper will work), scallions and finely chop the parsley. I used frozen chopped spinach, so allow it to thaw completely then squeeze out all the liquid from it (there will be a lot). Then place all the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a good mix. I find that with spinach I get a sort of itch at the back of my throat, so the lemon juice will definitely help with this.
IMPORTANT! Reserve some of the grated cheddar and Asiago to use as a topping before placing in the oven.
You have the option to use one large oven-proof dish or in my case I’m using two smaller dishes. One I’m making at this moment and the other I will seal with plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for making another time. Grease both containers with the vegetable oil and divide the spinach filling equally.. then top with the cheeses we reserved. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
This is an ideal spinach dip for students living in dorm as it can be done in a toaster oven, if you don’t have access to a full oven. Let it go for between 25 and 30 minutes.. line the bottom of your oven with tin foil in case we have some of that cheese bubble over! Don’t be surprised if your friends keep asking you to make this four cheese spinach dip time and time again. The cheesy goodness along with the slight kick from that bird pepper is quite addictive!
* When doing the 2nd spinach dip we saved in the freezer do it at 350 F for about 35 minutes from frozen.. but depending on your oven you may need to have it go for an extra 5 minutes.