Everyone loves the baked spinach or artichoke dip made with lots of cream cheese. Yea, me, too. I always feel so guilty because I cannot stop dipping. It is so addictive.
Well this is the answer. Equally addictive but way lower in calories, this spring vegetable dip is to die for. Ricotta replaces cream cheese. Goat cheese adds richness but not too much.
Make this in individual consuelas so each person has their own. Or make a large casserole for a party. I bet it might even work in a chafing dish. Serve with plenty of crudités and crusty bread.
Spring Vegetable and Goat
This restaurant style hot
artichoke dip makes perfect party food or first course for a dinner. This can
also be made with spinach. This dip is plum full of vegetables reducing any
guilt you may have for indulging in the cheeses. Serve with taco chips, baked
pita chips or a veggie platter.
1 c. asparagus 250 mL
1 c. leeks, white and light
green parts only, finely chopped 250 mL
2 tbsp. unsalted butter 30 mL
2 tbsp. all purpose flour 30
1 1/4 c. whole milk 310 mL
1 c. grated white cheddar
cheese 250 mL
sea salt and freshly ground
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts
in water, drained and chopped 415 mL
1/4 c. peas, fresh or thawed
frozen 60 mL
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
or green onions 60 mL
2 tbsp. chopped parsley 30 mL
2 tbsp. chopped mint 30 mL
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon
zest 2 mL
4 oz. crumbled fresh goat
cheese, divided 115 g
Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C).
Prepare the asparagus and cook in boiling salted water until still crisp, about
two minutes. Drain and set aside. Set aside the asparagus tips in a separate
Melt butter in a medium sized
saucepan over medium low heat. Add leeks and cook until soft and tender, about
6 minutes. Stir in flour with a rubber spatula. Cook for a minute or two to
remove the raw flour taste. Slowly stir in milk, over low heat. Stir while
heating to a simmer. Cook until thickened and remove from heat.
Stir in cheddar until melted.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add 2 oz. (55 g) of goat
cheese, herbs, lemon zest, asparagus, artichoke hearts and peas. Gently mix
until evenly incorporated.
Pour into a 4 cup (1 L)
buttered baking dish or six individual ramekins. Arrange asparagus tips and
remainder of the goat cheese on top. At this point it can be covered with
kitchen wrap and refrigerated until baking, up to 3 hours.
Bake until golden brown and
bubbling, about 20 minutes. Rest for five minutes before serving.
Adapted from www.epicurious.com