This asparagus au gratin is perfectly cooked with a simple white sauce and Parmesan cheese. It's an excellent dish for a special meal or holiday gathering.
The asparagus is perfectly cooked and then topped with mushrooms and sauce and placed under the broiler just before serving.
- 1 pound trimmed asparagus spears, fresh or frozen
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Heat warming drawer or preheat oven to 200 F.
Put asparagus in a pan large enough to hold the spears lying flat. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to cover asparagus; add salt, to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.
Lift asparagus out carefully with a spatula; transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. Arrange asparagus with tips all pointing in one direction on a warm, ovenproof serving dish; cover and keep warm in warming drawer or in a 200 F degree oven.
Simmer mushrooms in half of reserved asparagus liquid (2 tablespoons) for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain and arrange the mushrooms on the bottom half of the asparagus spears, leaving the tips uncovered. Cover the dish and continue to keep warm while making the sauce.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Continue to cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden in color. Remove from heat; gradually stir in milk, the remaining half of asparagus cooking liquid (2 tablespoons), and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Return sauce to heat; simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour over mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Asparagus tips will remain exposed. Cover exposed asparagus with foil; place dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until sauce with cheese is browned.
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