France, Recipes, Savory, Sides, Travel

Asparagus and Celery Gratin

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m on a gratin kick. While the kick started weeks ago, being in France has fully supported this decision. Those of you with kids who avoid vegetables like the plague (and those who don’t) might want to try this recipe. It’s the perfect way to add flavor and liven up simple vegetables, like celery! This recipe is a winner, I’ve already made it twice since being here and my entire family scarfed it down. Celery is much more appealing in France. It grows extra long, to the point of looking flimsy and is sold with leaves-and-all. Since having some celery left over from my soup, I bought some asparagus and decided to make a gratin out of the two vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsps butter
  • 1/2 large leek, mainly white part, soaked in water to remove sand, sliced finely
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, trimmed at the bottom and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large celery stalks, trimmed at the top and bottom and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit
  • In a large pan, over medium heat, saute leeks and butter, stirring frequently until leeks are soft with a gold tint to them
  • Add celery and asparagus, stir every minute or two for about 6 minutes to ensure vegetables cook evenly
  • Add garlic (adding it after the vegetables ensures it won’t brown or be bitter)
  • Add cream, give one quick stir, and let the cream bubble lightly for about two minutes before transferring to a casserole dish
  • Delicately toss the cheese evenly across the gratin, make sure not to stir it in.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted or golden brown

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