Wash the asparagus thoroughly, trim the stems removing the tough part. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. If you have a steamer, steam the asparagus. If not, boil the asparagus for 15 minutes; it is done when it is easily pierced with a fork. Drain on linen cloths.
Butter 4 gratin dishes, put in the asparagus, tips all facing one way. Season with salt.
Sprinkle the Parmesan on top of the asparagus and dot with the remaining unsalted butter. Bake in a hot
Extra-virgin olive oil can replace the butter.
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