Why Dip it? Put Spinach and Artichoke Dip Inside Pierogi Instead

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Don't dip it: stuff it! [Photographs: Morgan Eisenberg]

I've been eating spinach and artichoke dip since I was a kid—a kid who swore she devoured it in spite of the spinach rather than because of it, of course. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's spinach and artichoke dip that eventually convinced me that vegetables had the potential to be delicious. It's amazing how a bunch of cheese can lead a girl down a leafy green-loving path, you know?

I've ordered it countless times at restaurants and I've whipped it up at home for every holiday get-together. At this point, the dip is here as a part of my life, and I'm certainly not complaining about it. But sometimes I need to switch things up and take spinach and artichoke dip beyond the chip, so I decided to stuff it inside tender pierogi dough instead.

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Because the dough requires some effort, I feel that the filling should be simple. I use frozen spinach and canned artichokes to save as much time as possible. Four cheeses—Parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, and cream cheese—make it rich, creamy, and velvety. I usually like to add mayo or sour cream to my spinach and artichoke dip, but for the pierogi, I leave them out of the filling (helping to make it thicker and easier to work with) and serve the sour cream as a topping instead.

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Pierogi require a bit of care and patience to make, but if you're willing to invest the time, you can put together a huge batch of them and then keep as many as you want in the freezer for future cravings. I described my pierogi dough and stuffing process in my piece about Philly Cheesesteak pierogi, so you can take a look there for a more in-depth explanation. In short, most of the work is in the rolling, folding, pinching, and sealing, but once you get the hang of it, it breezes by.

I also include garlic and nutmeg to give the filling a bit more character. A lot of people don't think of garlic and nutmeg as being compatible, since nutmeg is more often used in baked desserts, but it does just as well in savory recipes. The key is to use it in very small doses, so it adds a nutty complexity without overpowering everything else.

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I no longer make a fuss about eating my vegetables, but even if I did, these little dumplings wouldn't be any problem at all.