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Asparagus-Parmesan Cheese Puffs

Asparagus-Parmesan Cheese Puffs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Makes 36 puffs; serves 6.
Asparagus season lasts from late winter through spring and into early summer. Some people consider blanched white asparagus, grown by mounding earth around the shoots to deprive them of sunlight, to be a delicacy; others prefer the more pronounced flavor of green asparagus. Seek out, too, purple-tinged asparagus, as well as pencil-thin, slightly bitter wild asparagus.


  • 1/4 lb. asparagus spears
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese


Cut or snap off the tough stem ends from the asparagus spears and discard. Cut the spears crosswise on the diagonal into 1/4-inch pieces. Bring a sauté pan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and simmer just until tender, about 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk and butter and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, salt and cayenne pepper into a small bowl. As soon as the milk reaches a boil and the butter has melted, remove from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. Using a wooden spoon, beat vigorously until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper.

Add the asparagus, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gruyère to the cooled dough and stir to mix well. Using a teaspoon, scoop up rounded spoonfuls of the dough and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, transfer the puffs to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.
Makes 36 puffs; serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).