Asparagus season is upon us, and will last for about 6 weeks from now! If you find exceptionally fresh asparagus on a farmer’s market, I will not blame you if you simply boil them for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on their thickness), and serve them with a little melted butter or olive oil, salt and pepper. But this recipe, while still requiring you to choose this fragile vegetable carefully, as well as finding very fresh free range eggs and a good, ideally unpasteurized St Nectaire cheese, is currently my favourite way to enjoy asparagus season to it’s full. I picked it up from a small restaurant in a non-touristic part of Paris about 5 years ago, and have been making it every asparagus season since. This is a perfect light meal. Have it on it’s own for dinner, or with a little fresh or toasted Campaillou (or any rustic) bread for lunch.
Alternative versions: Coming soon
Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients Budget: £2-3 per person
Calories per serving: 184 Kcal
5-a-day per serving: 3
Macronutrients (per person, in grams):
Carbohydrate (sugars): 6 (1.5) Protein: 15 Fat (saturates): 13 (6)
INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
Fine to medium green asparagus (2 or 3 bunches = 600g)
Large free-range eggs (4)
Saint-Nectaire Fermier cheese (100g)
Maldon sea salt crystals or fine fleur de sel
1. Fill a large saucepan (5 liters) and a medium saucepan (3 litres) with water, and heat them at your hob’s maximum setting
2. Rinse, trim the bottom part of the asparagus stems, eventually use a peeler or a sharp utility knife to remove any hard bits on the bottom of the stems.
3. Break the eggs into 4 small ramekins (or small cups). If possible place 4 plates into the your oven at 50°C / 120°F.
4. When the water is boiling in the medium saucepan, reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add 1 large tablespoon (15ml) of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt to the water.
5. When the water in the large saucepan is boiling, drop the asparagus and boil for 4 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stems).
6. While the asparagus is boiling, there should be time to poach 2 of the 4 eggs. In order to make a nice poached egg, a good trick is to create a swirl in the simmering water just before carefully dropping the egg into the saucepan. Cook each egg for 2 minutes before taking it out (you can keep them in the ramekins used previously).
7. When the asparagus is cooked through but still firm, drain the water out, and leave them in the saucepan, covered. Poach the 2 remaining eggs.
8. Dispose the asparagus in 4 equal portions on the plates, add a little pepper and salt, dispose 1 poached egg on top of each asparagus serving, and cut very thin slices of the st nectaire and also dispose them on top of the asparagus so they can melt a little. Done.