Here's a modern twist on the classic Green Bean Casserole. It's my Cheesy Asparagus Casserole with Crispy Asparagus Shavings. I swap out the green beans and add in Michigan Asparagus and instead of fried onions on top, I use crispy asparagus shavings. This casserole is so cheesy and yummy, it's the perfect dish to make for your next cookout. (It's also great during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving).
YAY, it's asparagus season in Michigan right now. Michigan asparagus production is in full swing right now, and we couldn't be happier. The weather is perfect! Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow up to 10 inches in one day.
Michigan leads the nation in asparagus production, recently pulling ahead of California and Washington. Yay! Go Michigan! I love the fact that asparagus has no fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium. It's also considered a "Clean 15" food, meaning it has a low pesticide load and is one of the safest conventionally grown crops to eat.
Cheesy Asparagus Casserole topped with Crispy Asparagus Shavings A modern twist on the classic Green Bean Casserole Fried Asparagus Ribbons Peanut or canola oil (for frying) 2 cups asparagus shavings 1 cup milk 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 2 teaspoons salt, divided Cheesy Asparagus Casserole 2 pounds fresh Michigan asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces 6-8 slices bacon, cut into bite size pieces 4 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup chopped onions 8 ounces chopped button mushrooms 1 minced garlic clove 4 tablespoons flour 2 ounces cooking sherry (optional) 1 cup chicken stock 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 2 cups shredded Smoked Gouda cheese Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place asparagus ribbons in a bowl and cover with milk. Let soak for 15 minutes. Fill a large stock pot 2/3 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add cut up asparagus and blanch for 1-2 minutes, then plunge beans into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, add bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Add butter, onions, mushrooms and garlic to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until mushroom liquid starts to re-absorb. Add flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add sherry and cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Stir in chicken stock and heavy cream. Cook until it thickens, then add seasoning and parmesan cheese. Gently fold asparagus and bacon into mixture and stir until everything is well-incorporated. Add asparagus mixture to a greased baking dish then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly. For the asparagus ribbons, add the oil to a deep, heavy pot 2-3 inches deep. Heat oil to 350ºF. Whisk together the flour, pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Dredge the asparagus spears in the flour mixture and then carefully add the spears to the hot oil, making sure they do not clump together. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning as needed until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt over hot spears. Remove the casserole from the oven and top with Fried Asparagus Ribbons.
This post is sponsored by Michigan Asparagus. All opinions expressed are my own.