Asparagus gratin with ham
========================= 2023-05-07

Inspired by: tarte aux asperges et au jambon

Comment: Use a lasagna-style oven dish, large enough to line up the bundles of asparagus. Place the bundles of asparagus head to tail to make better use of the available space.
Some recipes use raw ham, I prefer cooked ham. You need a good asparagus/ham ratio, so either use store-bought slices of ham and use 2 per package or go to the butcher and buy decent, fairly thick slices of ham. The dish should be approximately 18 x 30 cm [7 x 12"] to accommodate 8 bundles of asparagus. Depending on the size of the asparagus, at 3 or 4 per pack, you will need 24 to 32 stems. For cooking the asparagus, 2 possibilities. The simplest, cook them in salted water; the best, cook them in a pan with a little butter. If cooked in salted water, immerse them in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes and drain them well. In a frying pan, melt a little butter over low heat, add the asparagus and coat them with melted butter, a little salt, a tiny bit of water, and cook gently, half-covered, until the water is fully evaporated (add more if necessary). Depending on the size of the sauté pan, cook the asparagus in 2 batches.

4 people


white asparagus (see text)
8 or 16 slices ham (see text)

4 eggs
2 dl milk
2 dl of cream
100 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1 heaped tbsp cornstarch


Butter the gratin dish.
Wash the asparagus.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the bottom 3/4 of the asparagus, remove 1 to 2 cm [1"] from the bottom and cut (if necessary) to the right size for the dish. Be careful, the asparagus break easily when peeling them, and rinse them after peeling.
Cook the asparagus (see text).
Roll the asparagus in groups of 3 or 4 in the ham to obtain 8 packages. Arrange them in the dish.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, cream, cheese and cornstarch. Pepper, a pinch of salt, and add 1/2 grated nutmeg.
Pour the mixture into the dish and bake for 30 minutes at 200C [400F] (180C [350F] fan assited oven).