Asparagus Gratin




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This Asparagus Gratin is a luxurious and comforting side dish with a decidedly French accent!  It’s equally good as part of a fancy feast, or a quiet dinner for two.

This classic dish is so simple, but it demands the best ingredients ~ super fresh asparagus, homemade breadcrumbs, and real Parmesan cheese.

TIP: To avoid the dreaded ‘mushy asparagus’ I just blanched it briefly to take the raw edge off.  This way it retains some firmness while it bakes in the bechamel sauce.

Homemade Breadcrumbs are quick and easy to make.  Just take a slice of bread and process it in your food processor or blender.  If you have seeded whole grain, pumpernickel, or otherwise interesting bread lying around, all the better.

A touch of freshly ground nutmeg is the secret ingredient that makes this Asparagus Gratin utterly irresistible!

This is simple, classic, and French.  It made a nice change for us, and I think it’s perfect for serving with a light entree like grilled chicken or fish.


Reader Rave ~

“This dish is scrumptious. The sauce is velvet deliciousness. A nice alternative for my favorite spring vegetable. I made a couple of hours ahead then popped into the oven with my entree.”  ~ JHK


This recipe is adapted from Manger.

Asparagus Gratin
Rate this recipe
33 ratings

Category: Romantic, Sauces and Pestos, Side Dish, Spring, Vegetarian

Servings: serves 4

Asparagus Gratin

Ingredients

  • about 1 1/2 lbs of asparagus
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • A sprinkling of fresh breadcrumbs
  • snipped chives for garnish (or parsley)

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Wash and trim the ends off the asparagus. Blanch it in boiling water for about a minute or so to tenderize it a bit. Bring water to a boil, add the asparagus, and time it after the water comes back to the boil. Set the asparagus in a buttered gratin or baking dish.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and whisk in the flour. Cook for just a minute, but don't let it brown. Then whisk in the milk and blend well. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue heating until the sauce thickens, stirring or whisking constantly.
  4. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the cheese until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce over the asparagus, and top with the bread crumbs.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Run it under the broiler at the end if you want a little more color, but watch it carefully.
  7. Sprinkle with chives or parsley, and serve hot.

Notes

notes:

 

 

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27 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    JHK
    April 21, 2019 at 8:08 am

    This dish is scrumptious. The sauce is velvet deliciousness. A nice alternative for my favorite spring vegetable. I made a couple of hours ahead then popped into the oven with my entree.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 21, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Thanks! I want to make this again soon, you’re right about it being a nice alternative to regular steamed or roasted asparagus :)

  • Reply
    Kay Braun
    April 18, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Sue,
    Can this be prepped a day ahead and put in the oven before dinner? I’m not sure how the sauce would hold up…if it would change the consistency.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 18, 2019 at 9:41 am

      I think the sauce would hold up fine, but I would keep the sauce separate, and then assemble and bake the next day.

  • Reply
    Joshstradomus Funkapotomus
    July 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I like to add some slightly pan roasted pine nuts to my own recipe, cracked with the flat edge of a knife. Yum I want to make some now…

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Toasted pine nuts make EVERYTHING better!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    What a delicious way to celebrate asparagus season! Asparagus is one my husband’s least favorite vegetables but I think he would love it prepared this way.

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    April 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

    This not only looks beautiful I am sure it must taste divine. Very French and elegant. I love a touch of nutmeg in my bechamel too.
    Sam

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    April 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    this looks BEAUTIFUL. And i just added Manger to my RSS feed, because wow; just wow. I’m going to say thank you in advance for turning me on to it.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Waterson
    April 26, 2013 at 3:36 am

    MMM asparagus and parm!? Hello! Get in ma belly :)

  • Reply
    Red Star to Lone Star
    April 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Nice! I haven’t seen any new asparagus in stores yet. But I AM the proud owner of a huge wedge of Parmigiano, a present from Italy. That needs to be used!

  • Reply
    Valentina Rice
    April 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Can’t wait to try! Can see that this would go perfectly with any simple grilled meat or fish! Thank you!

  • Reply
    ahu
    April 25, 2013 at 2:14 am

    i never met a gratin i didn’t like but this is particularly beautiful.

  • Reply
    Paula Montenegro
    April 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Asparagus au gratin, what a fantastic idea Sue! I found them in the market, though we are in the middle of fall. This type of recipe is perfect, since they are not really in season and the flavor is not the same.

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    April 25, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Truly a decadent dish. And what a way to enjoy spring’s bounty.

  • Reply
    Eat Live Love
    April 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    That looks delicious, i love asparagus!

  • Reply
    Velva
    April 25, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Simply stated….That is stunning.

    Velva

  • Reply
    annie@mostlovelythings
    April 25, 2013 at 12:24 am

    What a beautiful spring dish!

  • Reply
    Natalie G
    April 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    A very lovely spring recipe! Can’t get enough of asparagus!!

  • Reply
    Christina Conte
    April 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t like asparagus, but for some reason, I think I would like it done this way! It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    April 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I think I would love this..I need it a bit cooked for me so I may blanch a tad more..not because I like it that way..I just have to:)
    What a pretty dish too..
    I just found that blog recently..
    It is ethereally gorgeous as the whole family:)

  • Reply
    bellini
    April 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Today is the farmers market. It is time to see what is available!!!

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson-Ditch
    April 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    This sounds wonderful. My picky eater husband doesn’t care for asparagus, but I love it! So I’ll just make up a dish for myself and he can eat green beans again. ;)

  • Reply
    marygirl
    April 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I still have a short wait for the fresh stuff but I’m saving this recipe for when I get a couple bunches. It looks wonderful, Sue.