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Asparagus Gratin

This asparagus gratin takes fresh asparagus and tops it with lemon, herb and Parmesan cheese panko bread crumbs. This side dish is spring time perfection. 

This weekend I spent some time down in DC with Gina and Julie. Even though DC isn’t that far south it was a lot more spring like down there than it is up here in NY. Flowers were blooming, cherry blossoms were in full swing and it was warm. I walked around on Saturday {with about every other single person in the DC area} in awe at all the spring time beauty.

Then I lost my ish when I couldn’t handle any more strollers bumping into me and was scared I was going to get pushed into the tidal basin by some cherry blossom happy tourist.

I have a love hate relationship with tourists.

Even when I am one.

After our hunger set in we decided to get our butts out of cherry blossom central and hit up Union Market to get our grub on. I wanted gelato for lunch but decided instead to eat some BBQ {brisket is my jam!} and then stuff my face with super creamy gelato.

I couldn’t figure out what flavor to get so I ended up getting a scoop of chocolate peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie dough.

When in doubt just pick two.

After all our food was consumed we hopped back into the car, headed back to Julie’s house and we all took a nap. Naps are seriously the best. thing. ever. How can you not love a mid-afternoon nap?

Sometimes I wish I could have saved up all those naps I refused to take a kid.

Dear young Brandy – what were you thinking? Napping is the best.

You know what else is the best? Asparagus.

During the summer I eat it almost exclusively. I can’t help but gobble it up when the price is cheap. My favorite way is roasted asparagus but I’ll eat it just about any way you serve it to me. This version still gives you the delicious roasted flavor but fancies it up a bit more with a crunchy panko topping that has been packed with lemon, herbs and Parmesan cheese.

Unlike most gratins it’s not swimming in any sort of cream sauce. It’s fresh, light and perfect for spring! It’s great as a side dish but I would be lying if I said I have never made this dish and just eaten the whole tray for dinner…

{Looking for more asparagus recipes? Try my cream of roasted asparagus soup, asparagus frittata for two or my spring vegetable pappardelle.}

Asparagus Gratin

This asparagus gratin takes fresh asparagus and tops it with zesty lemon, herb and Parmesan cheese panko bread crumbs. This side dish is spring time perfection.

Yield: 2-4 side dish servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minute

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat liner, set aside.

Add asparagus to baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a single layer across the baking sheet.

In a small bowl add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

Taste and season with desired amount of kosher salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the top of the asparagus with the panko mixture and bake for 10-15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the topped is lightly browned. You can broil the topping at the very end if you really like a browned topped.

Enjoy warm.