ASPARAGUS AND SPINACH GRATIN

Ingredients

5 ounces baby spinach leaves

1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 pound), woody ends cut off about 2-3” from the bottom of each spear

1 small leek, chopped (about 1 cup)

6 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon corn starch

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ cup mozzarella or provolone cheese (or blend), shredded

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a pie plate or small baking dish (approx. 8” x 8” or 9” x 9”) with non-stick spray.

Spread the baby spinach leaves in the baking dish and top with the asparagus spears in an even layer or slightly overlapping if needed.  Evenly spread the chopped leeks and garlic over the tops of the asparagus.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Combine the heavy cream, Dijon, and corn starch in a large measuring cup (or a small bowl) and whisk to combine.  Add the parmesan and half of the shredded mozz/provolone to the measuring cup and whisk again.  Pour this mixture over the top of the casserole, moving the asparagus spears a little as needed with a fork to let the mixture seep into the dish evenly.  Top with the remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the asparagus is tender, but still a little crisp and not overcooked.  Place the dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to let the top get golden brown and bubbly.  Watch it closely under the broiler so that it does not burn (broiler strength can vary greatly).

Serve hot as the most delicious side dish!

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