Baked Egg & Asparagus Gratin
Kristin Fintel, Innkeeper, Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast, Newberg, Oregon
I am the owner, Innkeeper and Chef at a small Bed and Breakfast in Oregon’s Wine Country. I love working with fresh garden produce.
We grow some ourselves and I supplement with produce from our farmer’s markets. Here’s my recipe for Baked Egg & Asparagus Gratin. It’s a great dish in spring when the asparagus is all fresh and yummy. Although most folks don’t think about growing asparagus themselves, it is actually an easy perennial vegetable that is fabulous straight from the garden.
I’ve included the directions for prepping ahead of time, which makes it an easy dish for a brunch. It’s elegant, and everyone can have their eggs as hard as they want. It’s also easy to adapt it to dairy-free or gluten free by using margarine and non-dairy milk or gluten free bread crumbs. We serve it with herbed potatoes. Although I occasionally hear, “vegetables for breakfast?”, our guests love it and the hearty, healthy breakfast gives them the energy to go wine tasting.
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
16-20 asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, smashed
salt and pepper
8 farm fresh eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Bake 6 minutes, until golden. Let cool a bit.
2. Put cream, garlic, salt and pepper in a microwave-proof bowl. Heat on high until just simmering. Let steep a few minutes and then strain.
3. Place trimmed asparagus in a damp paper towel. Par-cook the asparagus in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender.
4. Spray gratin dishes with non-stick spray.
5. Divide the asparagus spears (4-5 per dish) into gratin dishes. Crack 2 eggs on top of the asparagus. Pour 2 tablespoons of garlic cream on top of the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and then Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the whites are firm and the yolks are still runny. Let sit for 2-5 minutes before serving.
Note: You can do steps one and two ahead of time and keep the bread crumbs and garlic cream in the refrigerator. When you are ready to make the gratin in the morning, assemble in individual gratin dishes. The gratins can be set up a few minutes ahead of time and baked just before serving.