Sunday, December 16, 2012

Asparagus Artichoke Cheesepocalypse.

I’ve probably mentioned here before—my mom gets Bon Appetit magazine and saves them for me.  Which means I am bestowed with a large pile of magazines every time I visit.  I’m not complaining.  Not one bit.  I flip through the mags, tear out the recipes I want to try, and then recycle the rest.

And as I KNOW I’ve mentioned here before, my friend Kathy gave the Hubs & I this gorgeous handmade fleur-de-lis casserole dish for our wedding, with the promise that because of Kathy & I’s shared love of cheese, must be utilized for cheese-tastic dishes.  Last time, it was a de-LUSH-us lasagna.  This time…ohhhhh….this time…

Here.  I’ll just show you the page I ripped out of Bon Appetit:


I mean….SERIOUSLY.  Who in the world could ignore that page?  It’s like, the most delicious looking sheet of paper on the planet.  I would EAT the paper…but then I wouldn’t have the recipe anymore, so let’s not do that.

If you’re going to a holiday party this season, this would be a FANTASTIC thing to bring.  And if you have vegetarian friends like we do, they will LOVE you, because this gives them something fairly hearty to chow down on all evening as they avoid the meatballs and finger sandwiches.


And while I can’t really call this technically a “healthy” dish because of all that luscious CHEEEEEEESE… it’s actually not THAT awful for you.  A 1/3 cup serving has about 100 calories (plus whatever you use to dip—crackers, baguettes, veggies, etc.) and it’s crammed full of veggies.


1 cup asparagus, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

2 tbsp light butter

1 cup onions (if you don’t like onions, sub in spinach or leeks here)

2 tbsp flour

1.25 cup skim milk

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese or white cheddar

salt & pepper to taste

14 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts in water

1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen

2 tbsp chopped green onions

4 oz crumbled goat cheese or feta


Preheat the oven to 450 F.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the asparagus pieces for about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain and let cool.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  To this, add the onions (or spinach) and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).  Whisk in flour and then gradually add the milk. Bring this to a simmer, whisking constantly.  Continue cooking until thickened and then remove from the heat.

Add to the sauce pan the shredded cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.  Season to taste with the salt & pepper.

Mix in the asparagus (reserve the tips for the top of the dish), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, and 2 oz of the goat/feta cheese. 

Transfer this to a 4-5 cup baking dish, and then arrange the asparagus tips on the top.  Crumble the remaining goat/feta cheese over the top.


Bake until gold & bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.  Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips or sliced & toasted baguette.


NUTRIFACTS: (1 serving = 1/3 cup; makes 16 servings total)

 Calories 106.1

  Total Fat 6.4 g

  Saturated Fat 1.1 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g

  Cholesterol 18.7 mg

  Sodium 139.1 mg

  Potassium 87.4 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 8.1 g

  Dietary Fiber 0.5 g

  Sugars 1.5 g

  Protein 6.2 g



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