Carina's Artichoke Dip

[Bahía de Caráquez, Manabí, Ecuador; S 00° 36.61 / W 080° 25.26]

Bahía de Caráquez is located at the mouth of the Rio Chone in Manabí, Ecuador.  It is becoming a favorite spot for over-summering from Central America because being south of the equator, it is winter or dry season there.  Carina spent four months in "the Bahía" and had ample opportunity to try variations of this recipe on guests.  It's easy, tasty and addictive.


1 12 oz (340 g) can artichoke hearts (in water, not marinated)

4 - 5 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

~ 4 oz (115 g) creamy cheese*, grated or chopped fine

crackers or toast bits


Drain, and chop artichoke hearts until <1/4 " pieces (a food processor works great).  Add artichokes to small saucepan with finely minced garlic and olive oil.  Cook on medium heat for 2-5 minutes, whisking occasionally with a fork, or until the smell of the garlic is no longer bitter.  Cover and set aside until just before serving.  When guests arrive, heat mixture again and then add cheese, mix thoroughly and transfer immediately to a serving bowl.  Serve immediately with crackers or toast.


*variations - mozzarella + romano or parmesan, jalapeno harvarti (a favorite), gouda + mozzarella, or mozzarella alone