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Savory French Toast With Asparagus And Gruyère

serves 2-4

Asparagus first received its aphrodisiac status from the Doctrine of Signatures.

Read more about this recipe in The New Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook.



ingredients

3/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half
3 large eggs
6 or 8 (1-inch-thick) slices stale ciabatta or sourdough bread, enough to make 4 small sandwiches or 3 larger ones, or 2 stale croissants, sliced in half
6 to 8 stalks asparagus, trimmed and sliced thinly on the diagonal
Butter for greasing
1 tablespoon chiffonade of fresh sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 ounces high-quality Gruyère or Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

timer

prep: 30 minutes
total: 55 minutes

tools

2 mixing bowls
whisk
medium casserole dish
medium pot
tongs
heavy jelly-roll pan
parchment paper

instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, and whisk thoroughly. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, being sure to coat thoroughly, and place in a medium casserole dish. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the bread and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes to soak.

2. While the bread is soaking, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice water. Blanch the asparagus slivers for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and still crisp. Drain and then plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

3. Line a heavy jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment to keep the toast from sticking. Place half the bread slices on the paper. Sprinkle each slice with the sage and thyme. Place slices of the cheese on top of the herbs, and arrange the blanched asparagus on top of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin layer of Dijon on one side of the remaining pieces of bread. Place the slices, Dijon-side down, on top of the asparagus, and slightly press down to make the sandwiches stay together.

4. Bake until browned on the outside, and warmed and custardy on the inside, about 25 minutes.


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