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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Wash and drain the mixed leaves well, using a salad spinner if you own one to drain the salad leaves.
- 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.
- Using a pan large enough for the asparagus to lie flat in, fill with boiling water and a couple of pinches of sea salt.
- Cook the Asparagus for about 4-5 minutes then cool down completely in cold water, and then drain in a colander.
- Bring a medium-sized pan of water to the simmer, season with salt and pepper and add the white wine vinegar.
- Place a small handful of salad leaves in the center of four dinner plates.
- 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.
- Warm the Asparagus in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, using the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil.
- Lay 4 Asparagus spears on each plate, on top of the leaves.
- Then carefully top with a poached egg.
- Decorate with the prosciutto and sun-blushed tomatoes then drizzle with a little of the lemon dressing.
- Finally lace a zigzag of the reduced balsamic across each plate and serve.
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.
Local Asparagus with Poached Egg (serves 4) © Kevin Ashton 2006-2020
Please take a look at my other WordPress blogs