|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||12%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Asparagus with cream sauce is a delicious vegetable choice that takes very few minutes to be ready and makes a filling side to any main dish you might be serving. It can also be an appetizer in itself served with a few slices of warm crusty bread. The two main parts of the dish as asparagus quickly boiled to crispy texture and a roux-based creamy sauce of Dijon, half-and-half, and chicken broth. Optional additions of diced ham or hard-boiled eggs transform the asparagus from side dish to appetizer—skip the ham for a vegetarian option. If you run out of ideas on what to make for your dinner vegetable, these creamy asparagus are simply delicious and ready in just 20 minutes.
Asparagus is a springtime vegetable grown in certain areas of the United States but also imported from other countries like Peru and China, which makes it more or less available throughout the year. Nonetheless, the best and biggest asparagus are available when it's in season in the Northern Hemisphere. Green or white, these tasty spears are versatile ingredients, as they can be roasted, baked, boiled, or sauteed in addition to being cooked longer with vegetable or chicken stock and then pureed into soup.
The key to making delicious asparagus lies in trimming them adequately and cooking them to just crispy, as soggy and overcooked asparagus are bland and mushy. To trim your asparagus simply bed the spear and let it naturally snap. (The bottom you can rinse and add to broths or soups for flavor, but it's too fibrous and chewy to eat.) The resulting spears can be grilled, boiled, or steamed, but remember that with asparagus, less cooking time equals more flavor and texture. For a fancy touch, add the creamy sauce and place the asparagus under the broiler just until the sauce caramelizes a little.
- For the Asparagus:
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus spears
- For the Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Optional: 1/2 cup cooked diced ham
- Optional: hard-cooked eggs
Cook the Asparagus
Gather the ingredients.
Snap off tough ends of the asparagus.
Cook the asparagus, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Arrange asparagus spears in a serving dish and keep warm.
Make the Cream Sauce
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth.
Gradually stir in chicken broth and half-and-half. Add the ham, if using. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about one minute.
Whisk in mustard, lemon juice, and pepper.
If using, arrange slices of hard-boiled eggs over the asparagus.
Spoon the sauce over asparagus. Serve immediately.