Luck O' the Irish to You!
Spring Green Twice-Baked Potatoes with spinach and artichoke

A little lighter, faster, and more economical than the traditional corned beef and cabbage affair, try these Spring Green Twice Baked Potatoes with Spinach and Artichoke to infuse a little Luck o' the Irish, and a lot of antioxidants, into your lunch or dinner. Honor the Irish with the humble potato, dressed in a new spring jacket and stuffed with a lush, green surprise.  

They best thing about them?  

So. Darned. Easy.

Spring Green Twice-Baked Potatoes
with spinach and artichoke
for 2

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub and dry 2 medium baking potatoes, and coat skins with grapeseed oil (or any of your choice that holds up well under high heat), Roast directly on oven rack for about 30-40 minutes, until skins are crisped and yield to pressure.  Remove from oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the top of the potato, and the flesh, leaving about 1/4" adhered to the skin.  Reserve potato shells and flesh separately.

Using a food processor, pulse 6 oz of baby spinach, washed well and dried thoroughly, until smooth (not pureed, see photo) in two batches, Add 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, and pulse until incorporated with spinach.  Add 1-2 cups artichoke hearts (I used frozen hearts, and didn't even bother with thawing. You could use fresh, canned, or jarred, also.), 2 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp crushed red chiles, or to taste. Add potato reserved potato flesh and process by pulsing just until blended. 

Scoop filling into potato shells, mounding generously. Top with grated gruyere cheese. Pop into the oven, still heated to 400 degrees, and roast until tops are browned. Garnish with sour cream, sliced scallions, perhaps even a sprinkling of crisp bacon bits if you're eating meat.

Leftover filling? Why not make a thrifty rustic gratin to give this dish a second life as tomorrow's side dish? Stir a handful of grated gruyere into the spinach artichoke blend, and bake in greased individual ramekins at 350 degrees, until heated through.  

See? Quick and easy. Now you've got time to hunt down a green beer or two. Happy St. Patrick's Day and may the Luck O' the Irish be with you!

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