Easter and Spring! Such a wonderful holiday and season that together herald delicious traditional foods including buttery asparagus, tender new potatoes, garden-fresh spinach, eggs, succulant ham and more! For our very small Easter dinner (just my husband and me this year), we baked a brown sugar crusted ham, a cheesy asparagus and potato gratin and prepared a sweet and savory spinach salad..
Since the weather has been so incredibly warm for this time of year, we spent most of our day outside in the gardens after going to church early in the morning. We decided to keep our menu simple because all of our kids and their families stayed in their home cities this year. We’ve got a very busy family with their own careers, children, and even more babies on the way, so we just kept the stress level lower by not traveling to one or the other this year.
So in light of that train of thought on simplicity, I’ll get straight to one of my recipes that I prepared for Easter, starting with the Asparagus and Potato Gratin in Six Cheese Sauce. This is a dish that I came up with on my own, using my favorite cheeses that bubble and create a golden brown top with beautiful green asparagus peeking through while the potatoes float underneath. This dish is a lovely spring dish in presentation as well. Mmmm, so good too!
- 4 medium Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4" thick
- 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1" pieces, not using the largest 3" ends
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup finely grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1/8 cup finely grated Provolone cheese
- 1/8 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
- 1/8 cup finely grated Parmesan/Parmigiano cheese
- 1/8 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 finely grated cheddar cheese
- (these total up to 1 full cup of grated cheese)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the sliced potatoes into a square or round baking dish.
- Add the asparagus.
- Pour the half and half on top.
- Sprinkle the minced garlic all over.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir gently.
- Sprinkle all of the Italian cheeses in and stir gently again.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and do not stir.
- Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a golden brown color forms on top, such as in the photo below.