Eliza’s Artichoke Dip

I’ve been meaning to give you the recipe for the most sinful and addictive artichoke dip. I tasted it years ago at a cocktail party at Eliza Dyson and Joel LeVangia’s old apartment on East 10th Street, and have been dreaming of it ever since. The first time I asked Eliza what was in it, she said, “You don’t want to know.” The second time she recited the recipe by memory.

I was longing for an occasion to make it, and late afternoon on New Year’s Day with intellectual extraordinaire Arturo Bomberino De Fournier seemed like as good a time as any. We paused Black Cat, White Catthe Kusturica film in Serbian which we were watching with French subtitleslong enough for me to make the dip.

The Mayonnaise

First, the mayonnaise. Of course you can use store bought, but I like to make my own because any leftover is so easily turned into aioli—delicious with roast vegetables, or tartar sauce chock full of capers and cornichons and herbs to serve with a piece of fish. It’s simple once you give up the apprehension that your emulsion will separate and are confident that it will bind together gladly. The trick is the temperature. Room temperature egg and mustard, and oil a few degrees warmer will make it even easier. A simple ratio (even for a math dolt with a hangover): one egg yolk, one tablespoon of Dijon mustard, one cup of oil. One and one and one.

Separate the yolk from the white and drop yolk into a deep bowl. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt onto that yolk, because the salt will start the process before you even approach it with a whisk. Add the tablespoon of mustard (a messy, slightly overflowing tablespoon will do as long as it’s not too cold), and a healthy squeeze of a half lemon. It’s then that I reach for my whisk: I combine those four simple elements—yolk, salt, lemon and mustard—and start to drizzle in some oil. I use vegetable oil for the first half-cup because it is thicker and lends more initial body, and then olive oil as the second half for flavor. Start by pulling just a little oil into the emulsion that you’ve already begun with those four initial elements.

Bring the oil into the ingredients that have already bound (not the other way around).

Keep adding oil until your mayonnaise is thick, and then add more until you have added a full cup of whatever combination of oils you choose. Add the rest of the juice from that half lemon. Taste it. If you don’t remember liking mayonnaise but you like what you are tasting then you are on the right track. Don’t be fooled by its yellow color, this is Mayonnaise. This is the real deal, but if you would like it a little paler, add a fewdrops of water watch it blanch.






Artichoke Dip

Remove the contents of two cans* of artichoke hearts packed in water (or one can of hearts and one can of stems) and chop them coarsely. Chop a white onion. Finely chop five or so cloves of garlic. Combine artichoke, onion, garlic and mayonnaise in a large bowl and add some fresh pepper. Taste for seasoning. Add a half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese, saving a bit, and mix thoroughly.  Transfer the mixture into an oven safe dish, perhaps one that you’d use for a soufflé, and add an immodest dusting of the rest of the Parmesan onto the top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until you cannot ignore the smell and there is some bubbling and browning occurring on top. Then serve with a spoon and some Carrs table crackers or toasted baguette slices. Dig in, blow off steam, and eat.

Thank you Eliza!! xxxx

* I halved the Artichoke Dip recipe in the photos at right.

Photographs by Arthur Fournier

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10 Responses to “Eliza’s Artichoke Dip”

  1. Schermerhorn says:

    I can’t take this any longer. You are dangling this delicious artichoke in front of us just to get us all out to Barcelona aren’t you? Watch out what you wish for!

  2. Sally Branson Lynch says:

    Tried this and it is everything you said and more! Your writing- photos & recipes are always so appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thank you so much.

  3. Obezag says:

    Since many of our craving are impulse / compulse, it’s good to address that need. Nicely though, the artichoke can become dinner for the ravenous. You can say you have a nutritious yet luxurious experience — on the fly. Thank you!

  4. Bronson Moorehead says:

    God bless Eliza and her artichokes.

    This dish was brilliantly easy and I’m looking forward to my impending obesity.

  5. silver cat says:

    Well, I don’t like to admit this, but sauces like mayonnaise, hollandaise and bearnaise intimidate me a bit, so I tend to reach for the Hellman’s for my tuna salad or invent excuses not to prepare eggs Benedict or asparagus hollandaise – too rich, too caloric. But your approach to mayonnaise is so
    engaging that I ventured to try my own today, and it could not have been easier to prepare and delicious. Now, if I could only perfect chopping celeriac into match sticks, my celeriac remoulade would be closer to my memory of this classic French crudites. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Ol' Skool says:

    I just made the Kale Caesar Salad the other night and my man and I gobbled it up! Great recipe!!! x

  7. Joel LeVangia says:

    Ah, Tarajia, I remember when Otto von Fuerstenburg and I had our jaws wired shut after that fight we got into with George Lucas and Martin Amis at Culture Club. When we got home from the hospital we were starving and had to snort the artichoke dip because we were still too drunk to use knives and it was the only thing already chopped small enough. Some philistine had put their cigarette out in it, which was a little bit of a bummer, but it was still great.

  8. Joel LeVangia says:

    I am an attractive Serbian Doctor who is looking to meet fun=loving American Man. I go to website website http://www.seriously? for friends-making and celery. Please meet me there and peruse my photographic dossier. Watch out for Olga though, she will stab you in the neck.

  9. Beautiful Tarajia. What a sweet memento of a NYD well spent….

  10. Silver Cat says:

    This is pure, unadulterated sin!! Love the photos, Tarajia.
    Please give us more!

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