Asparagus Gratin

by Brennans Market Admin

Serving Size: Serves 4-6


2 lbs asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

4 slices firm white sandwich bread, cut into 1/4 in pieces

1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz) pine nuts

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

Adapted From:

Serve this rich, creamy side dish with roasted chicken, grilled pork chops, or salmon.

Butter a 2-quart shallow ceramic flameproof baking dish.  Cook asparagus in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain and transfer to baking dish keep warm by tightly covering with foil.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a skillet over high heat until foam subsides, then cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until pale golden.  Add bread and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until browned in spots.  Transfer to a bowl and add pepper, ½ cup Parmesan, and ¼ tsp of salt.

Preheat broiler.  Toss warm asparagus with mascarpone, remaining Parmesan, and remaining salt until combined well.  Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly over asparagus.  Broil 5 to 7 inches from heat until topping is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.