Gina’s Cheesy Asparagus Casserole Topped with Crispy Asparagus Shavings
Recipe artist & author, Gina Fewerda cooks up a classic casserole and slightly revamps it with one of her favorite ‘in-season’ veggies – the asparagus. See how she turns this green superfood into a ‘creamy with a crunch’ side dish. For more recipe ideas from Gina, click here.
Fried Asparagus Ribbons
- Peanut or canola oil (for frying)
- 2 cups asparagus shavings
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
Cheesy Asparagus Casserole
- 2 pounds fresh Michigan asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces
- 6-8 slices bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 8 ounces chopped button mushrooms
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 ounces cooking sherry (optional)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded Smoked Gouda cheese
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place asparagus ribbons in a bowl and cover with milk. Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Fill a large stockpot 2/3 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add cut-up asparagus and blanch for 1-2 minutes, then plunge beans into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, add bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
- Add butter, onions, mushrooms, and garlic to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushroom liquid starts to reabsorb. Add flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add sherry and cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Stir in chicken stock and heavy cream. Cook until it thickens, then add seasoning and parmesan cheese.
- Gently fold asparagus and bacon into the mixture and stir until everything is well-incorporated. Add asparagus mixture to a greased baking dish then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
- For the asparagus ribbons, add the oil to a deep, heavy pot 2-3 inches deep. Heat oil to 350ºF.
- Whisk together the flour, pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Dredge the asparagus spears in the flour mixture and then carefully add the spears to the hot oil, making sure they do not clump together. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning as needed until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt over hot spears.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and top with Fried Asparagus Ribbons.