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Asparagus-Fontina Gratin

serves 2-4

In this simple gratin, asparagus is baked in the oven with heavy cream and stock and finished under the broiler with a savory, crunchy topping of breadcrumbs and grated Fontina that offsets its melting texture.



ingredients

1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely grated Fontina
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)

timer

prep: 10 minutes
total: 30 minutes

tools

small bowl
casserole dish

instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and put the rack in the middle position.

2. After rinsing the asparagus, snap off and discard the tough bottom ends of the spears. (They will naturally break at the right spot.) In a small bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, oil, Fontina and pepper. Set aside.

3. Arrange the asparagus in a casserole dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour the heavy cream and chicken stock over the mixture. Cover with foil and bake until tender, 14-18 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the oven and preheat the broiler.

3. Uncover the asparagus spears and sprinkle with the breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Broil, watching closely, until the mixture is brown and bubbly, 3-5 minutes.

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