Easter Sunday is this weekend. How will you be celebrating? If your Easter plans include fresh asparagus, here is a beautiful recipe that will have even the kids coming back for more… Asparagus Gratin.
I’ve adapted this gratin from a 2011 Cook’s Country recipe which has been hugely popular on the blogosphere. My version has a touch of nutmeg and the addition of Panko bread crumbs on top. This is one of my favorite ways to serve asparagus – especially for a special occasion. It works beautifully with both a brunch menu or a traditional Easter ham dinner.
- 2 lb. asparagus spears, woody ends removed
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs (optional)
- In a wide sauce pan, bring 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt to a roiling boil. Add the asparagus and cook until it is crisp tender, approximately 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour to form a roux. Turn heat down to low.
- Drain the asparagus, reserving 1 cup of the asparagus water.
- Rinse the asparagus under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Whisk the reserved asparagus water into the roux and bring to a bowl over medium heat. Simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in the nutmeg, white pepper, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and the Jack cheese.
- Place the asparagus in a shallow baking dish.
- Pour cheese sauce over the asparagus and top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and the Panko bread crumbs.
- Broil until the cheese is golden and the asparagus is heated through and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.