1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded fontina or Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Assorted crackers and crudités
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch oven. Sauté kale, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until particles loosen from bottom of Dutch oven.
Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in Asiago cheese, next 4 ingredients, and kale mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 1- to 1 1/2-qt. baking dish.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is hot and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes; top with bacon. Serve with crackers and crudités.
Make Ahead: Prep recipe through Step 2. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temp 30 minutes, and then bake.
I made this for a football party and it was a nice update to traditional spinach dip. The kale is hearty and the flavors are complex and work together well. I especially liked the sharpness of the asiago cheese, and everyone got excited about the bacon- a nice touch! It did reheat well for leftovers the next day. I made as written and it was delicious. I think it would also be good with some pimento added, especially for a festive red-and-green look during the holidays.
I recently made this for an appetizer on Thanksgiving. It was voted as a "keeper" by everyone who tried it and it reheats very well (microwaved) for extended enjoyment. I loved the flavors of the asiago and kale - a great new spin.
I made this for an annual appetizer party/competition in my neighborhood. This won first place from about 20 worthy entries. Prepared as written except I stirred the bacon in before baking. Served with lightly-toasted baguette slices. Very yummy!