If fresh asparagus is not in season, use your favorite fresh mushrooms.
Asparagus is an insect infested vegetable. Inspection instructions for asparagus are listed below in our “Special Instructions” section.
4 to 5 pounds fresh asparagus
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
5 cups milk
8 ounces Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
15 lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 375. Bend asparagus until stalks snap at natural breaking point. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In large pot of boiling water, cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water; drain again. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of asparagus tips; set aside. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk; bring to a boil whisking. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the gruyere cheese, lemon rind and juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles for about 10 minutes or just until tender. Arrange 3 noodles in 13 x 9” baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the sauce, the one-quarter of the asparagus, then one quarter of the mozzarella. Repeat layers 3 more times, then top with final layer of noodles and sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Place pan on baking sheet; bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and top is light golden. Sprinkle reserved asparagus over top. Bake 5 minutes or until asparagus is heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Asparagus and Insect Infestation:
Green Asparagus contains beetles and thrips. Thrips are primarily found under the triangle scales and somewhat less frequently in the tips of the asparagus.
1. Shave down the floret at the asparagus tip.
2. Remove the triangle parts along the side of the asparagus. (A potato peeler is recommended.)
3. Wash thoroughly.
When prepared in this manner, special inspection is not necessary.
This hard to find and very expensive cousin to green asparagus has neither open florets nor scales for the insects to occupy. Hence, it may be used without any special preparation. However, it should be washed thoroughly before using.