Asparagus Gratin submitted by Mom Johnson
When fresh asparagus is in season, this is a perfect side dish for Spring-time Sunday dinners! From the April/May issue of Taste of the South magazine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until translucent. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring constantly until flour begins to slightly brown. Add the cream and the broth. Cook stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Add salt and nutmeg, stirring to combine.
Place asparagus in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and pour cream mixture over the top.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs, cheese, oil or butter, and pepper. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over the asparagus.
Turn the oven to broil and broil at least 5 inches from heat, until bread crumbs are toasted and crisp, 3-5 minutes.
About 6-8 servings.

v 2 T. unsalted butter
v 3 T. finely chopped shallot
v 1 1/2 T. unbleached flour
v 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
v 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
v 1 tsp. salt
v 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
v 2 1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed
v 2/3 cup Japanese bread crumbs (Panko)
v 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
v 1 1/2 T. butter or white Truffle oil
v 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper