Sunday, April 18, 2010

Asparagus Gratins - Fancy Side or Simple Vegetarian Supper


The follow-up to yesterday’s post about asparagus is that one of my children has turned picky on me. He’s decided that he doesn’t like asparagus grilled. To say that we had leftover asparagus from when I threw a couple bunches on the grill would be an understatement. (You know that I like to grill or roast once, and then use the bounty throughout the days ahead…) So, I turned the grilled asparagus into individual gratins. Down the little hatch the asparagus went. This makes an upscale side…or if you recently viewed Food Inc. and are thinking whipping up more meatless meals for your family sounds like a good thing, this one is a winner when it comes to simple, seasonal vegetarian entrees.



Asparagus Gratins

(makes 8-10 individual gratins)


2 bunches of grilled asparagus

Hearty handful of fresh spinach (optional)

¼ cup of whole milk

4 eggs

¾ cup of shredded cheese (I used Gruyere, but any cheese will work)

Olive oil

Ramekins

Cuisinart


Assuming you already have grilled asparagus, cut off the asparagus tips, and reserve for later. (Otherwise, please grill your asparagus and then continue with the recipe.) Place asparagus stalks in your Cuisinart, add milk, eggs, shredded cheese and spinach (if you’re adding it) and blend until pureed.




Preheat oven to 375. Brush 8 to 10 individual ramekins with a bit of olive oil. Fill the ramekins with asparagus/egg mixture. Leave as is if your child likes their food smooth. Otherwise, it’s nice to top them with the reserved asparagus tips for some texture, and sprinkle them with a bit more shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.



We ate 4 the evening I made them, and then I stored the remaining ones in the fridge. They sunk down a bit, so weren’t quite as pretty, but they still tasted great reheated on days ahead.


3 comments:

  1. I ADORE the color! So spring-green!

    And I use Gruyere too;). Fantastic in quiches of all kinds.

    I just started using grilled veg... what others do you make besides asparagus?

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  2. These weren't a great hit....
    I found the asparagus flavor hard to detect....and I used cheddar cheese which disappeared and didn't add much flavor either.

    But the presentation is lovely!

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  3. Glad a couple of you have tried these.

    Janelle, I have only done them using asparagus so far. I'll let you know if I try them with another vegetable this spring.

    Amy, sorry to hear these weren't a hit. The reason you didn't love them is probably the exact reason my children did!! I pick my battles...and while I wanted them to eat the asparagus that weekend, it's not one of their favorites. So, I made this bright green gratins and they gobbled them up. Fast forward a week or two and I was serving plain grilled asparagus, no gratins this go round. I mentioned that the asparagus was "the same veggie we had in the cups a while back" and down the hatch it went!

    If you want to try them again, then I'd recommend leaving the cheese out and substituting one extra egg and a sprinkling of salt to help bind them and add a bit more salt in lieu of the cheese.

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