Call it a vegetable hot dog, if you will. To my mind, a fresh baguette makes a tastier wrapping than a spongy bun or hero sandwich roll. Here, the baguette cradles lightly cooked asparagus, enriched with mayonnaise and melted Gruyère cheese. (You can add a smear of mustard as well if you like a little more bite.)
• 16 spears medium asparagus, trimmed to 6 inches long
• 1 fresh baguette
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard, optional
• 1/4 pound Gruyère or Comté cheese, grated (use French cheese, if possible)
1. Grill or steam the asparagus for about 8 minutes, or until just tender, then set aside.
2. Cut the baguette into 6-inch lengths and split them lengthwise to make a valley, without cutting all the way through. Scoring the insides of the valleys with your knife will allow you to pry the baguettes open more easily to fill them. Spread liberally with mayonnaise and optional mustard, if using, and nestle the asparagus spears inside, then distribute the grated cheese over the top.
3.Place the sandwiches under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted. They are best eaten while still a bit warm, and may be cut crosswise into smaller portions if desired.
Want to learn more about cooking with asparagus and chives? Read Spring's Sentinels: How to Grow and Cook Asparagus and Chives for more tips and recipes.
Esteemed garden writer Barbara Damrosch farms and writes with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. Find even more asparagus recipes in her latest book, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.