A particularly good luncheon dish, Ham Divan can be prepared in advance. Most of your guests will appreciate the trouble you took to make it.
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- 2 pounds fresh asparagus
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 6 thin slices of cooked ham
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Break or cut off the tough stalk ends of the asparagus. Remove the scales and wash off any sand which may have collected under them. Arrange the stalks in a shallow pan and cover with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Lift out carefully with a slotted spoon or tongs; arrange into six bundles.
Make a sauce by stirring the flour into the butter until it bubbles. Add the milk and salt and stir until thickened. Fold in the whipped cream and lemon rind.
Roll a ham slice around each of the asparagus bundles and place in a baking dish. Pour sauce over all and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Then slide under pre-heated broiler for 2 or 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.