Local Asparagus with Poached Egg

Local Asparagus with poched egg
The area I live in is famous for quite a few ingredients, but between April 23rd and early June Asparagus takes centre stage. The secret in this simple looking dish is the timing and preparing things in the right order.

The Asparagus season in Worcestershire begins officially 23rd April which is St George’s Day and now runs into early June.  Some consider Asparagus to be the king of vegetables, and other just roll their eyes when they hear such talk but if you make the effort to drive into the country you too will appreciate the huge difference between something grown locally and just pulled out of the ground that morning and Asparagus from the supermarket with 10,000 air miles on it. Of course this year because of Co-Vid 19, most of the Asparagus grown in the UK has been sold directly to supermarkets because if you are a farmer your farm gate business has disappeared.  Hopefully, next year things will be back to normal.

Ingredients

4 large free-range eggs

16 Asparagus Spears

Juice and Zest from 1 large lemon

6 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ Tbsp chopped coriander

50 ml Balsamic vinegar

100 grams Prosciutto ham

50 g sun-blushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp White wine vinegar

1 Small bag of mixed leaves

2 pinches of sea salt
Black pepper
Method

  1. Line up the tops of the Asparagus spears and trim off the bottom 5cm (2”), then peel the bottom of each spear to ensure any tough skin is removed.
  2. Pour the balsamic into a small nonstick saucepan; simmer on a medium low heat to reduce the vinegar until it is syrupy. Then pour the balsamic into a small cup and cling wrap to prevent further evaporation.  As it cools check that the consistency is thick enough to lace across a plate making a zigzag pattern.
  3. Wash and drain the mixed leaves well, using a salad spinner if you own one to drain the salad leaves.
  4. Combine the Olive oil with the lemon zest and juice, coriander in a small container and shake well, then season with sea salt and black pepper and reserve.
  5. Using a pan large enough for the asparagus to lie flat in, fill with boiling water and a couple of pinches of sea salt.
  6. Cook the Asparagus for about 4-5 minutes then cool down completely in cold water, and then drain in a colander.
  7. Bring a medium-sized pan of water to the simmer, season with salt and pepper and add the white wine vinegar.
  8. Place a small handful of salad leaves in the center of four dinner plates.
  9. Poach the eggs 1 at a time for 3-4 minutes (so that the yolk is still soft) then remove and drain on a warm plate.
  10. Warm the Asparagus in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, using the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil.
  11. Lay 4 Asparagus spears on each plate, on top of the leaves.
  12. Then carefully top with a poached egg.
  13. Decorate with the prosciutto and sun-blushed tomatoes then drizzle with a little of the lemon dressing.
  14. Finally lace a zigzag of the reduced balsamic across each plate and serve.

Chef’s Tips
This dish is all about timing so why not try halving the recipe and make 2 portions to begin with.

Egg Poaching Tips
Make sure the water is simmering, not boiling, so the egg comes together neatly.
Crack each egg first into a saucer and then pour each egg one at a time from the saucer into the poaching water, rather than drop the egg from a great height. Use a large slotted kitchen spoon like these to gently “fish” them out. Slotted spoons

Local Asparagus with Poached Egg (serves 4) © Kevin Ashton 2006-2020

Please take a look at my other WordPress blogs

Cheap & Easy Student Recipes

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24 thoughts on “Local Asparagus with Poached Egg

    1. Glad to hear it Mary. Your comment made me go back and read my post and realise I hadn’t given any tips on poaching eggs, which I have now added.
      I really do like the interaction I have with my readers so a big thanks to you and
      Best Wishes
      Kevin

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Gorgeous presentation. I do like asparagus, but when I was in college, some of the students picked asparagus to make money (the local valley grew a lot of it). One week we had asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner in my dorm – there was a huge revolt!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure! I am currently working on the fifth in the Rhe Brewster series, which does contain quite a bit about food (I’ve been asked to create a Rhe Brewster cookbook) but too late for The Last Pilgrim, which came out this week. Did the Pilgrims even eat asparagus?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dutch settler Adriaen van der Donck brought Asparagus from Europe in 1655 but I guess with a little artistic license someone could have taken a plant on the Mayflower. often food history is vague. For example, we know that the Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Romans all cultivated Asparagus. We also know that the word Asparagus was word in Middle English (which is dated roughly from 1150-1500 ). yet other scholars believe that Asparagus wasn’t cultivated in the UK until the seventeenth century.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks delicious! I love asparagus! I came across white asparagus for the forst time the other day and was wondering what it is like and what’s the difference?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. White Asparagus is mainly grown in the Netherlands and Belgium. As the asparagus grows it is covered with a sandy soil, which prevents photosynthesis, keeping the spears milky white. As they grow, more soil is mounded up around them, keeping them covered until harvest. The flavour of white asparagus is milder than the green variety and slightly more bitter. Having lived and worked in Holland, I have tasted both and prefer the green, but I guess it depends on the type of asparagus you have grown up with.

      Like

    1. Absolutely, and when new ingredients come to any country, the prices are high and the sometimes the rivalry to be the only one growing and selling it can be fierce. Remember asparagus is called the king of vegetables and was highly prized amongst royalty and the ruling classes.

      Like

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