I love baked eggs. If you’re vegetarian, eggs and egg whites are like, the perfect source of protein– especially whites, with lower cholesterol, fat, and calories. This is a recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times that incorporates bitter asparagus, creamy eggs, and unami oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms apparently have the same taste as oysters but I can never find it anywhere. I bought King Oyster Mushrooms or King Trumpet Mushrooms that have a huge, fat stalk and a tiny head which can be found in most Asian Markets (maybe Whole Foods).
Asparagus and Oyster Mushroom Gratin with Spinach Chiffonade
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 lbs thin asparagus
2 cups sliced Oyster Mushrooms
1/4 cup non-fat or low-fat milk
1/2 cup Gruyère or Swiss Cheese, grated
fresh spinach leaves, rolled, sliced thinly
splash of lemon juice
Olive Oil, S & P, 4 – 6 oz. ramekins
Preheat oven to 500F. On a baking pan, toss asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes until ends are slightly wilted but the stem is green. Remove and, when cool, chop into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving the tips. Reduce heat to 375F.
Slice oyster mushrooms and heat olive oil in a pan. Evenly spread out mushrooms and let it cook, without disturbing, for about 5 minutes. Stir and repeat until mushrooms are browned. Remove and set aside.
Place asparagus stems (reserve tips) into a food processor. Add milk and process for about a minute until pureed. Lightly beat eggs and whisk into milk-asparagus puree. Slowly add cheese and a splash of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Brush ramekins with oil and fill 3/4th of the way with mixture. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until tops are browned. Sprinkle with cheese 20 minutes through and allow to set.
Top with sliced spinach leaves and a sprinkling of lemon-infused olive oil.