I don’t know about you guys but I’m really, really excited about spring this year. I think just because it marks so many new beginnings for me personally. One – I’m getting this baby girl out of me in about five weeks (woop!). Two – I can’t wait to get back into my clothes. That’s a biggie. I know so many of you mamas can relate, especially those that love anything and everything clothes.
Three – looking forward to being a family of 4. Still so so surreal that it finally happened. I keep thinking about the upcoming summer and everything that we have planned with this new addition to our family and to tell you the truth – I CAN NOT wait to do it all but the real reason is….clothes. Yes – baby clothes! Having a girl is cute and dangerous. I mean how do you not walk into a baby store and not want to buy the whole store?! Ugh. Impossible. Poor hubby…he has no idea.
Last but not least – food! Fresh produce and lighter meals. That’s what I want. With spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to take advantage of all the seasonal spring produce, like asparagus, leeks, radishes, spring onion, and peas. Half of which are in this creamy hot dip.
It’s almost, almost guilt free as it’s loaded with ton of veggies and not so much creamy cheesy stuff. So, it’s practically “diet food.”
I used asparagus, leeks, artichoke hearts, peas, chives, parsley and mixed it all up with milk, cream cheese, and white cheddar. Sprinkle of fresh lemon zest and you have a super easy cheese dip with simple ingredients that will make you wanna eat more veggies. Serve with crostinis or pita chips.
I’m thinking this can be a tasty little starter for Easter lunch or elegant dipper for Mother’s Day.
Enjoy and let me know in the comments below what you’re looking most to in the spring. If you enjoyed this post, leave me a rating letting me know how I did. I would so love you forever (that’s actually a lie…I already do for reading my little blog).
- 1 cup ¾-inch pieces asparagus
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cubed
- 1 cup grated mild white cheddar
- 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- Cook the asparagus pieces in a pot of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Whisk in flour and gradually whisk in milk. Add cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. (I used side of a wooden spoon to mash the pieces of cream cheese against the inside of the saucepan to speedy up the cooking process).
- Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese, whisking until the cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently fold in asparagus (reserve the tips), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, parsley, and lemon zest.
- Spoon the mixture into a round small/medium baking dish. Arrange the reserved asparagus tips on top.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until bubbling hot. Optional: broil for additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with crostinis.
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lightly adapted from Bon Appetit