This recipe for Asparagus Gratin originates from Cook’s Country Magazine, May 2011 issue. What I found fascinating about this recipe: instead of just discarding the woody asparagus ends, it is used to make a flavorful quick broth that will be used to create the sauce in the recipe.
Also, instead of the typical cream found in most gratin recipes – butter and flour make a nutty roux to thicken the asparagus broth into a delicate, light sauce.
How to make Asparagus Gratin
Cut off the woody ends from asparagus.
These will be used to make a quick vegetable broth that we’ll use in the recipe.
Simmer them for 5 minutes in a saute pan or skillet.
Use slotted spoon to remove stems (discard), keep the water in the sauté pan.
Now let’s cook the asparagus in that broth that we just made. Cover and cook just for 2 minutes until almost tender. We’ll finish cooking them in the oven.
Once the asparagus is done, remove with slotted spoon. Pour the asparagus broth into measuring cup — we’ll need just 1 /2 cup of that broth.
Dry the pan, add butter and when the butter is melted and begins to bubble, whisk in the flour.
Cook to create a roux.
Pour the reserved asparagus broth into the pan.
Whisk then stir in the cheeses.
Pour sauce into casserole dish, lay asparagus on top, sprinkle remaining cheese.
Broil for 6 minutes until asparagus is tender and cheese melted.
Asparagus Gratin Recipe
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 1/2 cups water
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Place rack in upper middle position of the oven and preheat the broiler to high.
- Trim the woody ends of the asparagus off. In a saute pan (with lid), bring the water to a simmer. Add the woody asparagus ends plus 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the water and cook for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove and discard the woody asparagus ends.
- Return water to a simmer. Add the asparagus to the water, cover and cook for 2 minutes, until just nearly tender (for very thin asparagus, you only need to cook 1 minute). With slotted spoon, remove the asparagus and reserve. Pour just 1/2 cup of the asparagus water into a measuring cup (discard the rest).
- Wipe the saute pan dry and return to stove on medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan and with whisk or spoon, stir in the flour. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened and nutty smelling, about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in most of the cheese (reserve a couple of tablespoons of cheese for the top of the asparagus) and the reserved asparagus water. Taste then season with salt and pepper.
- Pour this thickened cheesy sauce into oven-safe casserole dish. Place the asparagus on top of the sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of asparagus. Broil for 6-8 minutes. Top with parsley. Serve immediately.
More Asparagus Recipes
Food Network Healthy Eats Asparagus 5 Ways
A Way to Garden 12 Don’t for Growing, Cooking and Preserving Asparagus
Food Network Dish Spring Fling: Asparagus
Cooking Channel Asparagus Frittata, Your Easter Brunch Centerpiece
Pinch My Salt Asparagus Gratin
What’s Gaby Cooking Skinny Asparagus and Gruyere Tart
Food2 Seasonal Spotlight: Asparagus
Steamy Kitchen Asparagus Gratin
I love to roll my asparagus in cooked ham (slice), and then “au gratin” them with a Swiss cheese sauce. Have done it for years and years, and always a favorite in my house.
Thank you! We eat low carb so would not make a roux. Instead, we would rely on heavy cream. Bacon pieces, cut small, would be great to sprinkle over the top, along with the cheeses.
One of my favorite recipes of all time, and easy too boot!!!!
My wife and i were absolutely glad that John could carry out his research from your precious recommendations he grabbed when using the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to just find yourself giving for free solutions that many many others might have been trying to sell. We really keep in mind we have the blog owner to give thanks to for that. The explanations you have made, the easy web site navigation, the friendships you give support to foster – it’s got all impressive, and it’s really making our son in addition to the family consider that that subject matter is thrilling, and that is particularly fundamental. Many thanks for all!
This is SOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!! My husband and I have tried several asparagus recipes and have had no luck finding one we liked until now!!! We are HOOKED! Came out perfect! Thanks 🙂
I just read an article on growing my own asparagus so now I know what to do with it 🙂
oooo wow, that dish looks wonderful! I will be trying this out soon! Thanks for sharing
Great idea to simmer the ends — I’ll use it in all my steamed asparagus dishes! Thanks for sharing.
It’s definitely asparagus season! I just posted a recipe for Asparagus with Parmesan Butter (http://noshesthoughtsreves.blogspot.com/2011/04/fast-and-easy-passover-cooking.html). Spring Fling indeed!
I love the idea of using the asparagus bottoms in a broth. Normally I just give them to my dog (he loves them).
Wow, this recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for posting! Great photos!
We *heart* asparagus over at Wicked Good Dinner. Here’s one of our favorite spring recipes with asparagus:
Thank you for the lusciousrecipe; aspargus is a favorite for me. Here is a quick and simple creamy asparagus soup http://www.dejavucook.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/cream-of-asparagus-soup/
Nice recipe Jaden…definitely perfect for a ‘spring fling’.
Love the idea for spring fling! I actually just posted a recipe for grilled asparagus pizza on my blog, Tasty Easy Healthy Green. Here is the link:
I miss my Jaden. One day, when I invite myself over for dinner, can you make this for me? 🙂
I’m entering a recipe similar to this in an online cooking competition called Real Women of Philadelphia. I’m using cream cheese (you have to use it to qualify for the contest) and it is DELISH. Paual Deen here I come!!!!
omg that roux with all that cheese is just screaming my name! What a perfect spring dish! Happy Spring Fling!
Sounds perfect to me! Asparagus makes me happy 🙂
Jaden, loving the recipe and all the blogs you mentioned that are participating…I read them all! CAn’t wait to see what everyone makes!
Wasn’t this good? I never would have thought to put jack cheese in it if I wasn’t following this recipe, but it really did make a perfectly smooth, creamy cheese sauce. Great photos!