Asparagus Florentine

Alas and alack, asparagus is not easily grown in the South; it’s a cool weather vegetable, fussy, and takes up a lot of room. If you’re lucky enough to know a gardener with an asparagus bed, more power to you, but the rest of us must settle with stalks from the store.

Fresh asparagus is best served simply, with butter or a simple cream sauce. This Florentine is admittedly a stretch, but given that the spears you’re likely to purchase are well past their salad days–in the most literal sense–this cream sauce–actually a Mornay–is justifiable.

Trim spears, boil in lightly-salted water until tender, drain and chill. Add grated dry cheese and cooked chopped spinach to a  thin cream sauce. Cool and spoon over spears in a lightly buttered gratin, sprinkle with a bit more grated cheese, and broil until brown and bubbly.

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