Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Baked Artichoke Dip #recipe by @LeslieKarst

I’m over the moon about the cover of my new Sally Solari mystery, THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH, to be released this coming August by Severn House Publishers—and not only because it features artichokes. But I have to say, that’s a big part of it.

Because I love artichokes. Maybe it’s since I’m a second-generation Californian, or maybe it’s because of they way they make everything you eat or drink them with taste sweet, or perhaps it’s simply because of how incredibly delicious they are. But because of this love affair with the humble thistle, I decided to include it in my new book, which revolves around both an artichoke cook-off and an artichoke farm up the coast from Santa Cruz, where the series is set.

So, in honor of the cover reveal for this new Sally Solari mystery, I present you today with a recipe I originally learned from an Italian neighbor of mine when I was in college (but which I’ve adapted some to cut the richness—and it is indeed rich—and to add a bit of zing to the dish).


Baked Artichoke Dip

(makes one 8” x 6” pan)


1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped

1 ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup panko

the chopped artichokes


Preheat oven to 375° F

Sauté the shallot slices in the olive oil over moderate heat till they become soft and just start to brown.

Mix together the artichokes, 1 cup of the cheese, the mayonnaise, the sautéed shallots, the lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, and pepper.

Pour into an 8” x 6” baking dish and smooth with spoon.

Mix together the reserved ¼ cup of cheese and the panko, and sprinkle on top of the artichoke mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until starting to turn golden brown.  Serve with sliced bread, crackers, or crudités.


🐄 🌳 🍋

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Leslie on Instagram


THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH, coming Aug. 2, 2022, 

is now available for pre-order!



Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All five Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. That sounds SO good, Leslie! As a fellow Californian, I grew up eating them.

    1. Yes, it's nice to live somewhere where you can get them for three for a dollar. Here in Hawai'i, they're $4 EACH!

  2. Love the cover on "THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH" and can't wait to read it!

    Appreciate the delicious sounding recipe and I'm sure I will be making it. It will be perfect for when company comes too.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. It is a great recipe for company. (In fact, I may make some for a dinner part this weekend...)

  3. Artichokes! A favorite since I was a kid. Mmmm.

  4. Mr. Right makes a simplified version -- basically a cup each of marinated artichokes, mayo (scant), and Parmesan. This looks downright fancy -- and so yummy!

    1. Yeah, that's the "mother" recipe, so to speak--the one our Italian neighbor would make. But I thought it needed some lemon, onion, and Tabasco to cut through the fat and spice it up!

  5. Hi Leslie! I love your cover and your series! Congrats! I'll eat anything with artichokes as an ingredient and your dip looks tasty.

    1. Thank you, Tina--that means so much to me! And yes, artichokes da bomb!

  6. That sounds irresistible!
    We love artichokes.
    Thank you for specifying "water packed" artichokes. So often recipes don't specify and water packed vs marinated is a big difference.

    1. It is! I'm going to make it tomorrow for a dinner party!

      And you're welcome. (Though I bet marinated artichokes would work too; they'd just give a more vinaigrette flavor to the dip.)