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: Epicurious.com
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, Â½ 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.