It is a pity that green and white asparagus is so under appreciated. When cooked correctly, not overcooked, but firm and al dente, and when served with the right accompaniment, whether it is a sauce or maybe a soft poached farm-fresh egg, they are divine.
Cooking is simple. Remove the woody ends and peal them if they need it. It helps if they are all the same size. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, 20 minutes or so, depending on their size, drain, garnish and serve.
ASPARAGUS AU GRATIN
1 bunch fresh asparagus
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1 cup Mornay sauce
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2-3 pads butter
Cook the asparagus as described above. Coat the tips in the Mornay , add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and then top with the butter, Run under a hot broiler until melted and delicious. Serve at once with a crisp white wine, like a Gruner Veltliner. A Mornay sauce is a sauce béchamel sauce (milk added to a roux)with an egg yolk and Gruner cheese added. Both are classic sauces and critical to French cooking. The béchamel is one of the five mother sauces of French cooking, from which all other sauces are derived.