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Food photography by Renée Comet, styled by Lisa Cherkasky.Adapted from Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery, the recipe for this tasty, easy-to-prepare ragout combines asparagus with several other vegetables that were grown at Mount Vernon.

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.





  • 3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Belgian endives, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small head soft-leaf lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston, cored and shredded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)


  1. Bring about 2 cups water to boil over medium heat. Add the asparagus, reduce the heat, and simmer until the asparaguses are barely tender. Drain thoroughly, cover, and set aside to keep warm.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and endives, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the lettuce, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking until the vegetables are just tender.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir to blend well. Gradually add the stock, stirring until it begins to simmer and thickens slightly.
  4. Add the asparagus, reserving a few of the tips for garnish, and heat until warmed.
  5. To serve, pour the ragout into a serving dish and garnish with the reserved asparagus tips.