Florentine Dip

NYTimes Cooking writes “A good dip transcends time — especially one with fresh herbs, which makes this 1959 recipe from Craig Claiborne stand out amid other recipes from the convenience food era of the 1940s and ’50s. Studded with capers, garlic and anchovies, the dip comes together quickly, then sits in the refrigerator, ready to buy you time when your guests arrive.”

Although the title is a bit of a misnomer in the fact that Florentine recipes usually include spinach as an ingredient. But I won’t quibble over the title because it was a fabulous dip! And if you are squeamish about anchovies, they are mashed up and assist the other ingredients in bringing out a true depth of flavor.

However if you’re adamantly opposed to anchovies, try fish sauce. Don’t be put off by the name. It does not taste fishy. As a fellow anchovy hater however, I have come around to using them mashed up in small amounts as here, where they give an indefinable flavor boost.

BTW, America’s Test Kitchen has a great recipe for an anchovy substitute involving miso and nori. It works beautifully in most recipes that call for anchovies or anchovy paste.

Florentine Dip

  • Servings: Yields 1 1⁄2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. mashed or finely chopped anchovies
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 tsp. chopped capers
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  •  Salt and black pepper to taste
  •  Sliced vegetables and/or sturdy potato chips, for serving


  1. Using a wooden spoon, blend the cream cheese and anchovy paste together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the sour cream, parsley, chives, capers, lemon juice and garlic, season with salt and pepper, then stir until well blended.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for several hours to season.
  4. Spoon the dip into a bowl and serve with sliced vegetables or chips, or both.


Adapted from a recipe by Craig Clairborn for NYTimes Cooking

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