This creamy asparagus and mushroom casserole is the picture of spring side dishes. It uses up loads of that delicious, just-from-the-garden asparagus, fresh mushrooms, and leftover hard-boiled eggs. (Confession: My eggs had pretty pastel spots from getting dyed just days before, but this dish is a great way to make sure they don’t go to waste!)
I’m a big fan of this casserole because it delivers such a big serving of vegetables, but it’s also so flavorful, I would eat it as a meal. The smoked paprika brings a lot of flavor to the white sauce, so take a few taste samples as you simmer the sauce and add more to your liking.
Creamy asparagus, mushroom casserole
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, with dirt brushed off
- 2 1/2 tbsp butter + 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup onion, finely copped
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 1/2 ounces shredded gruyere cheese
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika + more for garnish
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- about 10 Ritz crackers, lightly crushed
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Remove woody ends of asparagus spears, then cut into about 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Fill large pot about half way with water and salt well. Bring pot to a roaring boil.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Set aside.
- Add asparagus to pot and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green. Using a large slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water and drop them immediately to ice bath. Let cool a few minutes before draining the ice bath
- Add mushrooms to the boiling pot and let boil for about 10 minutes. Mushrooms are done when they darken and soften. Drain, and set aside.
- For the sauce: Reusing large pot, return to medium heat and melt 2 1/2 tbsp butter. Add onion, about 1 tsp of salt, and cook until translucent, or about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and let cook about 45 seconds. Stir in mustard, then add milk, and 1 tbsp smoked paprika, and whisk well. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, or about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms to sauce.
- Spoon sauce on bottom of 9×9-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of asparagus on bottom of dish, then top with a layer of sliced eggs, followed by remain asparagus and sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Season with black pepper and more smoked paprika.
- Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter and pour over crushed crackers. Stir until crackers are moistened. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
- Bake dish for about 25 minutes or until dish is bubbly. Turn broiler on during final 5 minutes or so to get a golden brown top.
- Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.