1 cup ¾ diced asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 cup grated mild white cheddar
Dash of Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 14-ounce can or jar chopped drained artichoke hearts in water
¼ cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
1 small Jalapeño Pepper minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
8 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
COOKING MUSIC SELECTION: Death came a knocking- Ruthie Foster
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook 1 cup ¾ “asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; let cool. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped leeks, onion and Jalapeño pepper (white and pale-green parts only) and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes.
Whisk in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; gradually whisk in 1 ¼ cups whole milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened; remove from heat. Add 1 cup grated mild white cheddar; whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fold in asparagus (reserve tips); chopped drained artichoke hearts in water from one 14-ounce can or jar; ¼ cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas; 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh chives, mint, and flat-leaf parsley; ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest; and the half of the crumbled fresh goat cheese.
Transfer mixture to a 4-5-cup baking dish; arrange asparagus tips on top and dot with another half of the goat cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve it with crostini, tortilla chips, or crudités.