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Herb Cheese Dip

This is a yummy little cheese dip and a great way to use some fresh garden herbs.

Servings: 12 + guest     Prep time: 20 min     Cooking time: 10 + 15 min
    Ready to eat in: 50 min
Utensils: 1 qt oven proof dish, 1 qt sauce pan

Herb Cheese Dip
4 sprigs asparagus - reserve tops
¾ cup leeks - chopped or see note 1
1 clove garlic - minced
2 tab butter
¼ cup dry white wine
1¼ cup milk
2 tab flour - whisked into the milk
¾ cup American cheese - grated
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese - white is better
½ tsp sea salt & ½ tsp fresh ground pepper - to taste
½ tsp lemon zest - fine grate or micro-plane
¼ cup peas - frozen peas thawed out
Herbs - fresh from the garden - chopped - chives, parsley, mint, French tarragon - see note 2
2 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles


Chop the asparagus into small pieces, cut the top 1½ inch for decoration. Place the butter, leeks, garlic & asparagus in the sauce pan and sauté until leaks are tender. Remove the asparagus tops after about 1 min and set aside. Turn heat on low and deglaze with the wine. Whisk in the milk & flour mixture, simmer and wish until it thickens. Whisk in the grated cheese, salt & pepper. Add the lemon zest, peas & fresh herbs. Stir in the gorgonzola and turn off the heat, Let it rest for a minute or two, string once or twice.

Pre-heat oven to 450º F. Remove the dip to a baking dish and decorate with the asparagus tops. Bake 15 minutes, remove and let rest and cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a variety of crackers tortilla chips or fresh vegetables for dipping.

Note 1: If you do not have leeks substitute about ½ cup or less of chopped green onions or diced red onion.

Note 2: Remove the woody stems and chop the leaves. About ½ cup total when chopped, the quantity is not that important, nor is the ratio. Just a good mix of fresh herbs. Except the mint, use only about 2 small sprigs so that it does not over power the other herbs.

Alternative Recipe Ideas

  • Any combination of fresh herbs you like will work, try:
    • Cilantro, chives, parsley, mint with a dash or two of cayenne
    • Basil, parsley, mint
    • Rosemary, more lemon zest, mint
    • Artichokes, parsley, chives
    • Fresh chopped spinach, artichokes
    • Dill, more lemon zest, mint
  • Substitute goat cheese or blue cheese for the gorgonzola
  • Dipping vegetables - zucchini, bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli
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