This recipe was in the earlier editions of Joy of Cooking, but it was dropped before they brought out the the 75th Anniversary edition of 2006. So here’s my version of it, which i’m including here because everyone i’ve ever made it for has loved it. Hell, my mother loved it so much she went home and planted an asparagus bed. I’ve even made it in Amsterdam to demonstrate for my Dutch friends that green asparagus can be almost as good as white.
Boil a half dozen eggs, ideally from Shelly.
While the eggs are boiling, snap as little as possible off the butt end of a pound (480 gr.) of fresh green asparagus. The point where it breaks is where it’s no longer tough, so you don’t need to peel it like you do white asparagus. Throw it in a pot of boiling salted water for about three minutes (longer if you like it mushy), drain it, and arrange the spears in the bottom of a glass pan.
While the eggs and asparagus are cooking, make a couple of cups (480 ml.) of cream sauce (white sauce, béchamel).
Peel and slice the boiled eggs and arrange them on top of the asparagus.
Pour the cream sauce over the top. Those little specks are because i made the cream sauce with whole wheat flour to keep my doctor happy. She doesn’t know about the eggs and butter and salt.
Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.
Throw it in the oven for a while to get it hot through. Serving it is a lot easier if you make a couple of cuts crosswise all the way through the asparagus. Then you can slip a spatula under there and lift out attractive chunks.
This is a delicious dish, and if you were going to take it over the top you’d put a layer of thinly sliced very good ham in the bottom of the pan before you arranged the asparagus, ham and asparagus being soul mates.