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French Asparagus Timbale

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If you love French cuisine and trying something new, this Asparagus Timbale is an easy, elegant, and delicious vegetable-based recipe you’ll love. It’s a simple asparagus recipe with 4 ingredients, that’s light and flavorful!

Side view of Asparagus Timbale garnished with radish microgreens, asparagus tips, and Parmesan cheese on a white plate.

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An Asparagus Timbale is an elegant dish that combines the freshness of asparagus with the sophistication of a timbale. It’s a recipe perfect for a fancy dinner, a springtime brunch, or a serving for afternoon tea or any teatime gathering.

This is an exceedingly easy asparagus recipe. We’ll guide you through making this dish at home, from step-by-step instructions to tips for the best results and nutritional information.

What is a Timbale?

In culinary terms, a timbale is a dish cooked in a specific type of mold. The mold, called a timbale, gives the dish its characteristic shape.

The word ‘timbale’ comes from the French word for kettledrum, also known as timballo. This is due to the shape of the mold, which resembles a small drum in which the asparagus timbale is cooked.

Timbale dishes can be made with a variety of ingredients, but today, we’re making ours with asparagus. This vegetable brings a fresh, vibrant flavor to the dish.

The Origins and Benefits of Asparagus Timbale

Asparagus timbale has roots in French cuisine. Like all of my favorite French-inspired dishes, it combines elegance with simplicity.

Asparagus is the star of this dish. This vegetable is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.

It’s rich in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Asparagus also provides a good amount of chromium, a trace mineral that enhances insulin’s ability to transport glucose.

Incorporating asparagus into your diet can support your overall health. Plus, it adds a touch of sophistication to your meals.

Top view of Asparagus Timbale ingredients on a white background with a white marble cutting board.

Ingredients You Need to Make This Asparagus Recipe

Ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick list of the four ingredients you’ll need:

  • Trimmed asparagus
  • Egg (whole and yolk)
  • Heavy Cream or half-and-half
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

How to Choose and Prepare Asparagus

Choosing the right asparagus is key to a successful timbale. Look for firm, bright green stalks with tight asparagus tips.

Once you’ve selected your asparagus, it’s time to prepare it. Start by washing the stalks under cold water.

Next, trim the woody ends. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Hold the asparagus stalk at both ends.
  • Bend it until it snaps.
  • The stalk will naturally break where the woody part ends and the fresh, juicy asparagus begins.

Remember, fresh asparagus will give your timbale a vibrant color and a crisp, tender texture.

Kitchen Tools

Here is a list of the equipment I use when making timbales.

  • Steamer basket (if steaming or a pot for blanching the asparagus).
  • Blender or food processor to puree the asparagus.
  • Ramekins: I’m using 8-ounce ramekins, but you can use whatever size you have.

Step-by-Step Asparagus Timbale Instructions

Now that your asparagus is ready let’s start with the recipe. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter four 1-cup ramekins. You could also use cooking spray.

Next, steam the asparagus until fork tender. This should take about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Or, you could also blanch your asparagus in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then, quickly transfer it to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Top view of chopped asparagus in a steamer basket.
Top view of steamed asparagus in a steamer basket.

Once cooled, puree the asparagus in a blender or food processor. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese until smooth, and fold in the asparagus puree.

Top view of eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese in a glass bowl with a whisk.
Top view of uncooked asparagus timbale filling in a glass bowl.

Pour the mixture into a greased timbale mold. Place the mold in a water bath and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Top view of unbaked asparagus timbales in a bain marie waiting for the oven.

The timbale is done when it’s firm to a light touch or when a small knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool slightly before unmolding.

Tips for Perfecting Your Timbale

As mentioned, this asparagus recipe is simple, but there are a few tricks to perfect it. One key tip is to ensure your asparagus is cooked just right. Overcooking can make it mushy and affect the texture of your timbale. You want the asparagus fork tender, but not mushy.

Another tip is to season your asparagus well. This enhances the flavor of the dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices. For me, this light dish is perfect with a hint of nutmeg (freshly grated is wonderful) and the salty flavor of a dash of Parmesan.

Lastly, be patient when unmolding your timbale. Let it cool to maintain its shape. A well-presented asparagus timbale is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Asparagus timbale is a versatile dish. It can be served as a main course or as a side dish. Presentation is key, so consider garnishing with fresh herbs, microgreens, or even a drizzle of sauce.

Top view of Asparagus Timbale as a serving for teatime.

More French-Inspired Dishes You May Love to Try!

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Side view of Asparagus Timbale on a white scalloped plate with asparagus tips and parmesan cheese as garnish.

French Asparagus Timbale

Try this delicious and easy Asparagus Timbale recipe for a taste of French cuisine. Perfect for fancy dinners, springtime brunches or teatime.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large eggs yolk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 ℉ and butter 4 eight-ounce ramekins and set aside.
  • Cut the asparagus and steam until fork tender, about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Remove the asparagus from the steamer and quickly transfer it to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the asparagus until creamy.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream, salt, pepper, and pinch of nutmeg until combined. Add asparagus puree and the parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.
  • Fill the ramekin halfway up (between 4 to 6 ramekins) and set them in a baking dish. Add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. The timbale is done when it's firm to a light touch or when a small knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the ramekins from the waterbath, set them on a metal cooling rack, and let them cool before unmolding and serving.

Video

Notes

  1. Asparagus: Choose fresh, bright green asparagus with tight tips. For 1 cup puree, you will need about 1 large bundle of asparagus. Bundles vary from market to market, so look for one that weighs about 1 lb. Depending on the size, you may have slightly more puree than you need. If it’s close to 2 cups of puree, double the recipe. If it’s slightly more than 1 cup, I add it to the recipe as written.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 707IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: asparagus recipe, asparagus timbale

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