When Spring finally comes along or even when it hints that it is on the way, I start to think about cooking vegetables like asparagus. It's just a springtime vegetable to me, even though I eat it all year long. I think asparagus is somewhat under used in southern cooking. I am not sure why, but recipes including asparagus are not plentiful.
This is a recipe, my mother came up with that is just a bit different and it is absolutely one of my favorites. It's delicious! It's also good, because you can use fresh or canned asparagus and in the summer it's a great way to use some of your fresh tomatoes If tomatoes are not in season, Roma tomatoes work really well in this. I am always partial to fresh asparagus, but if it's not available a good canned one will work. I think this will be a great Easter recipe also!
Here is what you will need:
2 (8 oz.) cans asparagus spears, drained or an equal amount of fresh asparagus, blanched
3 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced (if you use Roma tomatoes, you might need 4)
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
dash of hot sauce (Tabasco)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange your whole asparagus spears on a shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. A quiche dish or deep pie plate works well.
If you are using fresh asparagus, break off the woody ends and place it in a skillet with about 2 inches of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for just about 2-4 minutes. Drain and place on a paper towel, then place in your casserole dish.
Place the sliced tomatoes on a triple thickness of paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Allow them to hang out on the paper towels for about 10- 15 minutes. The salt will bring some of the moisture out of the tomatoes and your dish won't be too watery.
Lay the tomatoes evenly over the asparagus spears. Dot each tomato with a pat of butter.
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Mix well. Spread over the tomato layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown and melt.
This makes a wonderful side dish or it could be served as a vegetarian main dish or meatless meal!
I could definitely make this a main dish! It's so good! I am looking forward to making it with fresh garden tomatoes this summer also!