asparagus and guinea fowl gratin


Lindsey Bareham

This simple gratin is a lovely treat with a dish of minted peas. Instead of guinea fowl, use leftover roast chicken.

serves 2, prep 20 min, cook 35 min

250g British asparagus
250g roast guinea fowl or chicken
30ml butter
100ml milk
A squeeze of lemon
25g fine breadcrumbs
25g freshly grated parmesan
10g finely grated gruyère

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut from the tip down into 3 or 4 lengths approx 4cm long. Tear the bird into bite-size pieces, discarding skin, fat and sinew. Season with salt and pepper. Put 500ml boiling water into a saucepan and boil the asparagus for 2 min. Scoop out of the pan to drain. Measure off 250ml asparagus cooking water. Melt the butter in the empty asparagus pan and stir in the flour until nicely amalgamated.

Gradually add the hot asparagus water, stirring or whisking as you go. When thick and smooth add the milk. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes then season to taste with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Mix asparagus and guinea fowl together and pile into a suitable gratin-style dish. Spoon the sauce over the top. Leave to cool and harden. Place the dish on a roasting sheet. Mix crumbs and cheese together and spoon over the cooled topping. Heat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Bake for 20 min or until the top is crusty and golden, the sauce bubbling round the edges. Yum.