Thursday, April 3

Asparagus Gratin

Asparagus baked in a creamy parmesan sauce

Asparagus Gratin

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables to make since it requires almost no prep time and cooks very quickly. Usually I simply roast it by tossing it on a sheet pan with salt and pepper, but this gratin is an easy step up that really packs a wow factor. Make a quick roux, stir in some dairy and parmesan, and pour the creamy sauce over the asparagus before baking. The cheesy sauce bubbles and turns lightly golden while the asparagus roast to a nice crisp-tenderness. It's one of those impressive side dishes that will turn a normal roast chicken dinner into a fancy and exciting meal.

Related Recipes:
- Potato Gruyere Gratin
- Asparagus with Poached Eggs & Crispy Onions
- Summer Squash Gratin

Asparagus Gratin:
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Trim the tough ends from the bottom of a large bunch of medium-thick asparagus* and arrange in a snug single layer in a baking dish. 
  • Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper.
  • In a small pot, melt 1 tbsp. of butter and then whisk in 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour.
  • Whisk the mixture until smooth and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Gradually whisk in 3/4 c. of half and half** until smooth and slightly thickened.
  • Turn off the heat, then whisk in 3 tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce of the asparagus, then sprinkle with another 2 tbsp. of grated parmesan and 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and sauce has browned slightly.

Serves four (side dish)
*If using thinner asparagus, cook for less time.
**Or whole milk.