Asparagus gratin

Asparagus gratin

Asparagi al gratin

By
From
Hazana
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

Traditionally served as part of a Thursday night dairy meal, this makes a very good light lunch or side dish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
900g asparagus
3 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
1-2 tablespoons butter

For the béchamel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
450ml hot milk
grating of nutmeg
salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Trim the ends off the asparagus and peel any fibrous inedible parts from the lower stalks. Steam for 15–20 minutes or until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute without browning, stirring constantly. Pour in a little hot milk and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over a moderate heat until the mixture is free from lumps. Add the rest of the hot milk, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
  3. Pour a little of the sauce into the bottom of a well-buttered shallow baking dish. Arrange the asparagus on top and pour over the remaining béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 190°F oven for 20–25 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve hot.
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