Asparagi gratinati (asparagus and Parmesan gratin)
This recipe works great for both a starter and as a side dish. I like to make big trays of these for dinner parties so that guests can help themselves.
Author: Woo Wei-Duan
Recipe type: Starter (Antipasto), Side dish (Contorno)
- Preheat your grill to the second to hottest setting. If there is only one setting, set the level slightly further away from the element.
- Snap off the woody base of the asparagus, moving your fingers up from the blunt end and wiggling until you find a more flexible part and then snap off the end. For fatter stems with more waxy skins, peel the asparagus from below the tips with a vegetable peeler.
- Place the asparagus in a steamer until half way cooked (up to 7 minutes for fat asparagus).
- Prepare a large bowl of cold water and add ice. Plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, remove and drain fully.
- Grease a grill-proof baking tray with the olive oil and place the asparagus on the tray. Drizzle the 20 mls of olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over top.
- Grill the asparagus until the cheese is melted and golden, up to 15 minutes. Be vigilant as the grill can easily scorch anything in seconds.