Originally a broccoli dish (cut the stems into pieces no more than 1/8 inch thick), but I've made it with asparagus.


  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed in the skins
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh


1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the asparagus in a bowl, drizzle on the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper while tossing to coat; transfer to a gratin dish or any ovenproof dish. Nestle the garlic in the asparagus and cook until the tops are browning and the stems are crisp‐tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Remove the dish from the oven and fish out the garlic. Sprinkle the top of the broccoli with the blue cheese and then the bread crumbs. Return to the oven and cook until the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm.


Feel free to switch out the cheese if blue isn't your favorite; Emmental, Gruyère, goat cheese, Gouda, or any good melting cheese works fine. Other vegetables you can use: cauliflower, broccoflower, Romanesco, broccoli, or broccoli raab.


Mark Bittman


4 servings



European : Western : French



preparation times

• Start to finish: 45 Minutes