Last week I was brainstorming ideas for holiday dishes, and I kept envisioning layers of potato, cheese, and asparagus. A casserole, of sorts. Now, I love a good plant-based casserole, but honestly I rarely make those sorts of dishes. Since posting a casserole would be a bit out of character for me, I came up with something a little lighter, and, dare I say, cuter.
I mean, nothing says springtime quite like a flower cup made of potatoes, filled with creamy vegan cheese sauce and asparagus, am I right? I can’t stand how cute these are, and I bet your guests won’t either. That is, until they try one, and then all those dainty oohs and ahhs will turn into side glances and furtive scrambling to get the last one on the platter before Aunt Beatrice does.
These little potato tulips are like a single serving potato au gratin casserole in an edible cup, with garnish of asparagus to really give that springtime flair. Once you’ve got your cheese sauce blended up, these are actually quite easy to assemble, and are baked in a regular sized muffin tin, until the potato slices are browned and crispy.
Stand apart from the casseroles, and impress your guests, with these cheesy little potato blossoms.
Cheesy Potato Asparagus Blossoms
Inspired by this recipe
- 1 batch of my favorite cheese sauce, minus the chili powder, cayenne, and cumin (or you can use this one) see notes for nut free substitutions
- 1 large organic russet potato, scrubbed and sliced as thin as possible (I used a mandolin)
- 1 very small yellow onion, sliced thin
- 10 stalks of asparagus, washed trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- sea salt
- optional: 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese, I like Daiya Farmhouse Block
- A little oil to grease the muffin tin
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the potato slices over a cutting board and lightly salt them with sea salt. Oil your muffin tin, and arrange the slices around each well. I did this a few different ways. For some, I placed whole slices around the edge and then pressed one in the middle. For others I pressed one whole slice in the bottom and then cut the remaining slices in half and arranged those along the sides. Play around with it and see what you like the best.
2. Spoon in a tablespoon or so of the cheese sauce. Then add a slice of onion, another thin layer of sauce, and then another potato slice, and another little dollop of sauce…for a layered effect. Alternatively you can simply dollop in 2 tbsp of sauce and add a slice of onion. Add a sprinkle of vegan cheese shreds, if using. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. After 10 minutes, take out of the oven and add a 4-5 pieces of asparagus, and other little sprinkle of cheese shreds, if desired. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes, checking after 10. Remove when potatoes are lightly browned and crispy. Let sit for 5 minutes. Carefully use a fork to loosen the edges and gently scoop the cups out of the tray. They’re a little fragile, but I’ve made 3 batches and most of them stayed together fine, I only had one or two fall apart on me.