Asparagus season is upon us. Well, kind of… When I was a young child, we only had asparagus in asparagus season, same with strawberries or actually anything. The only fruit we got that was always available out of season were bananas and oranges…sometimes maybe pineapple, but they were mostly canned. So, for me, I usually eat still a bit like that. And I would say asparagus is the best when it is freshly harvested. When it is in season, I eat it a lot and serve it a lot. It has lots of health benefits like fibre and—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—it is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers. So let’s just eat asparagus.
A wonderful recipe is crepes filled with asparagus, ham (optional) and cheese, baked in the oven…
For the crepes you need: (for 4 people)
- 1 and 1/4 cup flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
Mix the flour with the milk and the eggs, add the melted butter and let sit for about 30 minutes. Heat oil or butter in a pan and add a big spoon of the batter, twirl the pan, so that the batter goes around and reaches all the edges of the pan. Cook for about a minute on medium high, then careful flip over, cook for another 30 seconds and let glide out of the pan. Proceed with the rest of the batter. Set aside.
For the filling:
- 16 green asparagus, ends removed
- 4 slices of good quality ham or prosciutto (as said, optional)
- 1 cup gruyere, grated. You can also use cheddar, but gruyere just tastes so amazing with this
- salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 and a half tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 and a half cups of milk
- salt, pepper
- 1 cup of gruyere
Preheat the oven to 375. Now fill the crepes with the ham, then the asparagus, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Add the cheese and roll the crepes really tight and place in a buttered oven proof dish. Proceed with the rest of the crepes.
And at last, prepare the sauce:
- Melt the butter and add the flour, combine all very well, then add the milk, stir fast with a wire whisk, make sure that there are no lumps…bring to a boil and you should have a nice white creamy sauce.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste and pour the sauce over the crepes.
- Sprinkle the gruyere over the crepes and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the top is nice and brown.
This is a wonderful dinner and even better with a crisp glass of white wine (my favourite being a Chablis).