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Asparagus and Mascarpone Gratin with Parmesan Breadcrumbs

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

This simple yet decadent dish is easy enough to make on a weeknight but special enough (and easily doubled) for a weekend dinner party. Look for mascarpone, an Italian-style cream cheese, in the cheese section of most supermarkets.

  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed of tough woody stems and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2  small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 5 oz. mascarpone
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high.  In a 2-quart gratin dish, toss the asparagus with the onion, 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Broil until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the breadcrumbs with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, and 1/8 tsp. pepper.

Dollop the mascarpone in little spoonfuls over the asparagus, sprinkle with the nutmeg, and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil until bubbly and golden-brown, about 2 minutes more. Serve.
 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 280; Fat (g): fat g 24; Fat Calories (kcal): 220; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 11; Protein (g): protein g 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 320; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 50; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was wonderful. I made a half recipe and split it between two small oval casserole dishes - cute presentation and still delicious. This would be a fantastic entertaining / holiday recipe as you can prepare virtually everything ahead and the cooking time is minimal. I will make this again and again.

This is an unbeatable recipe! I've made it 3 times, and the first 2 the asparagus was too thick to broil, so I oven-roasted it first, then added the toppings and broiled it. I've used whipped cream cheese in a pinch, and it worked well too. I've used both onions and shallots. Last night I left them out completely, as everything else was highly flavored, and it was still great tasting! I doubled the recipe for 6, and we ate everything!

Tried this recipe at Easter & doubled it. It was gone before everyone got to try it! A new favorite in this family, will make it often!

Outrageously easy! Outrageously tasty! Shallot for sure.

This is delicious and unique! I skimped on the mascarpone, and next time I will add more; it'll be even better!

I used this recipe as a side dish for the BBQ Flank stake and everyone complimented it and had seconds! Very easy to make. This is a repeat recipe for me.

Absolutely delicious! Creamy and cheesy! My husband and I went crazy for it.

What a great way to enjoy asparagus! It's very quick and easy, and so delicious.

Oh my. Super simple and oh.so.goooood. Made it tonight in advance of Easter dinner to test its table worthiness. Definitely holiday table worthy! Mascarpone is the deal breaker - no substitutes. But I will sub shallots for the onion next go around.

i loved it!!!delicious warm salad!!!

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