Asparagus & Sauce Mornay

Nowadays, you can find most fruits and vegetables year round, but technically there are still peak seasons for these items.  Spring bring all things green, asparagus being one of them.  Spring also still brings chilly days, which has us craving warm, gooey things, like Sauce Mornay, which is essentially cheese sauce.  A classic Béchamel is made with cheese added to make this luscious, creamy sauce.  The cheeses can vary from Cheddar, Gruyere or a blend of Parmesan and Pecorino, depending on what you’re making.  We chose Rupert Reserve, an Alpine style cheese from Vermont.  Rupert is aged for a minimum of 10 months, giving it time to develop a sharp, nuttiness with deep toasty butterscotch notes.  The dish is finished with one of the fabulous seasonings from Curio Spice Co., which adds salt with a hint of lemon and thyme, to add a perfect balance for the buttery rich Rupert.  Enjoy!
-Queen Christine

Asparagus & Sauce Mornay
1 ½ cups of milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
¼ pound Rupert Reserve, grated about 1 cup
1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Curio Aegean Salt

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir until combined and paste-like.  Cook over heat for about 1 minute.  Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in the milk; bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Add in grated cheese and stir until it is fully melted and incorporated.  Keep finished sauce warm on low.
  2. Fill a large sauté pan with 1 inch of water and the kosher salt.  Over medium high heat bring water to a low boil, add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.   Drain asparagus and rinse in a cold water bath to stop continued cooking.  Remove from water and pat dry.
  3. Arrange asparagus on a platter, spoon about half of the Mornay Sauce over asparagus, sprinkle with the Curio Aegean Salt to taste.  Serve remaining Mornay Sauce on the side.

 Yield:  1 ½ cups Mornay Sauce