Caramelized Onion, Artichoke + Jarlsberg Dip

jarlsberg dip 1

‘Tis the season for garden parties. My neighbour-friend has one of the very best back yards in the world – small and brimming with herbs, food and flowers, a fence made of repurposed pallets, hung with old tires with waterfalls of flowers cascading out of them. But mostly it’s the lights she strung up that start to glow as it gets dark, and the friends with guitars, chatting and strumming, and the tables covered with food because everyone brought something to eat.

solitas yard

When I have to bring something to a party, I lean toward baked cheese dips, because they’re the very best to share with friends. And because S lives just two doors down, I baked mine in my cast iron pan and walked it over with a tea towel wrapped around the handle. It was devoured in under five minutes, was perfect with gin and tonics and prosecco drizzled with rhubarb syrup, and I came home to email everyone the recipe.

Caramelized onions, artichokes and handfuls of grated Jarlsberg for the win.


I’m a big fan of cheese – I have an entire drawer of my fridge devoted to it. I have a particular fondness for meltable cheese – anything that gets good and gooey with heat. Jarlsberg is one of those cheeses – it’s sweet, smooth and nutty – the kind with the big, round holes like you used to see peeking out of enormous Dagwood sandwiches. (I totally just went and dated myself there, didn’t I?) Although it has Swiss origins – in the 1820s, Swiss master cheese makers visited Norway’s Jarlsberg & Laurvig County (now known as Vestfold County) and taught the locals some of their cheese-making secrets, which died off but were rediscovered in 1956 by a group of students and scientists at the Agricultural University of Norway, who applied modern cheese-making technology to centuries-old techniques, and called it Jarlsberg. The method is still one of Norway’s best-kept secrets.

jarlsberg 3

It’s mellower than gruyere, and perfect for fondue. In fact, you can do a quick skillet fondue with Jarlsberg, or creamy cheese sauces to pour over veggies or gratins. Before we left town, I made a creamy broccoli soup with the grated end of my Jarlsberg wedge. I like sticking thin slices alongside cheddar in grilled cheese (it adds more cheesy depth and creamy meltiness) and it’s my go-to for a croque monseiur. It’s perfect grated atop baked French onion soup and eggy things like quiche and frittata. It loves ham. (Or – I love ham with it.)

jarlsberg 2

But still, when I think of the cheesy things I love most, and what’s sharable and best eaten outside, which is really what summer is all about, it’s a dip that takes under ten minutes to put together but makes everyone so happy.

* Huge thanks to Jarlsberg for helping me share delicious things, and sponsoring this post!

Caramelized Onion, Artichoke + Jarlsberg Dip


August 2, 2016


canola or olive oil, for cooking

1 Tbsp. butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 jar or can artichoke hearts (about 1 cup), chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream or sour cream

2 cups grated Jarlsberg

salt and pepper, to taste


1Preheat the oven to 400?F.

2Set a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil along with the butter. (If you have a small-ish cast iron skillet, that's perfect - it can slide right into the oven, and will hold the heat well and keep the dip warm longer). Sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the artichokes and cook for a few minutes to heat through and get rid of any excess moisture.

3Stir in the mayo, cream and almost all the Jarlsberg, leaving about half a cup to sprinkle on top. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine everything well. If your skillet isn't ovenproof, scrape the mixture into a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with the rest of the Jarlsberg.

4Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden around the edges. Serve immediately, with crackers or crusty bread for dipping.

5Serves 6 (or 1).


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3 comments on “Caramelized Onion, Artichoke + Jarlsberg Dip

  1. Laurie from Richmond
    August 3, 2016 at 9:56 am

    this made me hungry just looking at it 🙂

  2. Judy
    August 3, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Sounds delicious but what would you use instead of artichokes. Judy

  3. Lee Anne
    September 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    This was ridiculously good! Everyone loved it.

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