Yield: 4-6 servings.

1 pound fresh asparagus
Liquid from cooking asparagus
Milk, as needed
2 cups breadcrumbs, divided
12 stuffed Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Steam asparagus until tender. Drain well, reserving liquid. Measure liquid, and add enough milk to make 1½ cups. Place half of the breadcrumbs evenly in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish.

Cut asparagus into bite-size pieces and scatter over breadcrumbs. Spread olive and egg slices over the top. Melt butter in a saucepan, and stir in flour until smooth.

Slowly whisk asparagus liquid-milk mixture into the butter and flour mixture, and cook over medium heat, stirring until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in grated cheese and stir until smooth. Pour over ingredients in casserole.

Sprinkle remaining breadcrumbs on top. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately.

This recipe originally appeared in the June 1999 issue of Our State (vol. 67, no. 1). Click here to see the full issue, or jump to the recipe page here.

For more casserole recipes, visit ourstate.com/casseroles.

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.