Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Asparagus



I do love asparagus, especially when it's fresh, young and tender, so I was very excited when we finally got the first lot of English (and even better, local) asparagus in. This will be a fairly similar post to the previous one, but I don't care seeing as it's so bloody delicious!

When I got my hands on the asparagus I knew I wanted to have it with something simple enough to let its flavour shine through, while being robust enough to make a meal out of it...of course, protein was required and duck eggs were the immediately obvious choice! Unfortunately, I am possibly the worlds worst poached egg cook...I'm not sure what it is, but I can ever get that beautifully round and plump finish that looks nice atop some green veg. So, I naughtily treated myself to the fantastic little book 'Leon: Breakfast and Brunch' which comes with a perfect poached egg recipe to help me. Which, of course, was a fib I told myself to allow a cook book slip through my 'trying-to-save' net.


Considering the recent flurry of PSB/duck egg combos, I thought that something a bit different was needed for the asparagus. A quick delve into the back of my mind and the answer was 'griddled'.

First off, snap the woody ends of the asparagus off and blanch the spears in boiling water for a few minutes before dropping into ice water. Pat them dry and drizzle with olive oil. While the griddle heats up, put a pan of water on to boil and crack the eggs into individual ramekins.



When the griddle pan is hot, drop the asparagus in and spread it out so that every piece is touching the surface. After a couple of minutes, or until bearing light charred marks, turn it over and it's time to put the eggs in. The Leon method calls for salt and white wine vinegar in the water and just dropping the eggs in one at a time when it's on a rolling boil. I did get some fantastically perfectly cooked yolks, however the whites did go somewhat stray again. Never mind, I'm sure the OH won't mind if I have to practice some more! Cook the eggs for 2-3 minutes for lovely runny yolks and by then the asparagus should be just about lovely.

Finally, the dish just needs to come together...asparagus on the bottom, eggs on the top with a drizzle of olive oil, grind of salt and pepper and a smattering of Parmesan, if desired. Serve with a glass of crisp, chilled white wine and follow with some home-made rhubarb fool. Fresh, simple and delicious.








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