Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Asparagus & Pasta Bake (Drama-Free)

A quick belated post with a dinner from last week - no excitement, just a very tasty veggie thing. (Funner stuff to come when have a bit more posting time.)

The Recipe: Asparagus & Potato Bake
(Again courtesy of Dairy Diary Hearty & Healthy book)

  • 1 lb 4 oz (550g) sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into slices about 0.5 in (1 cm) thick
  • 1 lb (450g) new potatoes, scrubbed & cut into slices about 0.5 in (1 cm) thick
  • 9 oz (250g) asparagus spears
  • 1 oz (25g) butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed [or 1 shallot, minced, in our case]
  • 1 oz (25g) all purpose flour
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 16 fl oz (1 US pint; 450ml) low fat milk
  • 2 oz (50g) mature Cheddar cheese, grated [you might want a bit more]

Serves 4

1. Separately, steam the sweet and new potato slices for 15-20 mins, until just cooked. (Take care not to overcook, as they could break up. Note that the sweet potatoes will cook more quickly than the new potatoes.) [Nuking would probably be quicker.]

2. Meanwhile, snap off and discard the woody end from each of the asparagus spears. Wash and cook in large saucepan of boiling, lightly salted water for 5-10 mins (depending on thickness) until tender. [I steamed for 5 mins, as was on a roll with all the steaming.] Drain, refresh under cold tap, drain well.

3. Preheat oven to 425F/220C.

4. When cooked, arrange new potatoes in bottom of large, very lightly oiled, shallow baking dish. [Ours is 2 quart and was the perfect size.] Arrange the sweet potatoes on top, and then add the asparagus spears.

5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the garlic and saute until soft. Stir in the flour, and add the stock cube and milk. Bring to the boil, stirring continously. Season to taste, and pour over the layered vegetables.

6. Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce, then bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until bubbling hot, and the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with a crisp green salad. [We had peas, as always.]


Can't think of anything - it was great. Jack did perhaps regard it more as a side-dish than a main course, but he doesn't have my pescatarian tendencies.


Steamed veggies:

Sauce in progress, featuring very pretty new whisk (thanks, Kate!):

About to go in oven:



Bob said...

Mmmm, asparagus and potatoes. Looks great. :)

Yesica N. Cook said...

Thanks, Bob!! Must be balanced by something unhealthy!