Asparagus can taste as bright and sunny as a spring afternoon. So why do so many gratins load it up and bog it down with masses of cream and cheese?
Why This Recipe Works
Rather than cook our Asparagus Gratin in a cheesy sauce, we opted to cook the two aspects separately and combine them at the end. We initially turned to gruyére cheese, a classic element in gratin dishes, but it caused our sauce to be slightly gritty. Replacing it with milder, smoother Monterey Jack fixed the problem. We also found that tasters preferred a version of the sauce that replaced the half-and-half entirely with vegetable stock made from the trimmed ends of the asparagus, which also enhanced the vegetable's flavor.