Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot softens and the garlic begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put the spinach in a colander and squeeze out all of the excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the artichoke hearts, crumbled bacon, cooked garlic and shallot, lemon zest, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mix well with a rubber spatula, and transfer to a decorative bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can blend. Serve with crispy pitas.
Yield: 96 pita crisps
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all of the herbs and spices in a small bowl. Put the pita wedges into a large mixing bowl and add the spice mix. Drizzle the oil over all and toss well to coat. Put the pitas onto a baking sheet, shake it to even them out and place the pan into the top half of the preheated oven until they are crispy and lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool 10 minutes and mound around the dip bowl.