Asparagus takes center stage in this rich and satisfying side dish that layers veggies with Fontina and Parmesan cheese, covered with our Creamy Garlic Sauce and cream and toasted under the broiler.
2 bunches asparagus, on the thick side if possible (about 2 pounds)
3 tbsp Armanino Garlic Sauce
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup fontina cheese (3.5 ounces)
⅓ cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third.
Snap the woody ends off the bottom of each asparagus stem and working in thirds, place the first third in an oval or rectangular baking dish, roughly 9″x13″, with the stems facing the same direction. Top with 1/3 of the fontina and parmesan.
Continue with the second third of the asparagus and top with another third of the cheeses.
Finish with the remaining asparagus and top with the remaining cheeses.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic sauce, heavy cream, salt and pepper.
Drizzle the garlic cream over the asparagus.
Transfer to the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until asparagus spears are tender and cheese is melted. The timing will depend greatly on the asparagus thickness.
Set oven to broil.
Allow the cheese to broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Serve hot – the dish is best enjoyed immediately. To make ahead, take the dish through step 6, cover and refrigerate then bake just before serving.
To trim off the woody/tough asparagus ends, simply snap. The asparagus will naturally break at the tough point. Discard the ends of save for soup stock.
Cooked crumbled bacon or pancetta would be nice. Sprinkle on top just before serving.
Use this same idea with other vegetables. The cheese sauce is delicious with roasted cauliflower, broccoli and is fantastic with pasta.