Asparagus and Mascarpone Gratin with Parmesan Breadcrumbs
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
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):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 116
, pp. 76
March 1, 2012