Longer days mean that there is Asparagus and eggs aplenty! Tastebuds rejoice as these springy flavours assure us that the season of plenty is nearly upon us. While most Canadian gardeners must wait at least another month to see those tender, delicious asparagus shoots emerge from the warm soil, grocery stores are ready right now to meet our desire for seasonal produce that tastes like spring. While the price of eggs probably won’t change, young free-range hens all over the country are registering the increase in daylight and laying more eggs. All of this means that it’s time to celebrate spring with Asparagus poached eggs.
Simple is best is my books, especially when it comes to preparing fresh foods. The less processing you do, the better. This dish maximizes on the subtle spring flavours and minimizes effort so your palate can reap the benefits. Here’s how you do Asparagus poached eggs.
Sauce (optional, this dish is good without the sauce, if you are counting your calories)
*3 egg yolks
*1 Tbsp cold water
*1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
*3/5 c. butter
-bunch of pencil-thin asparagus, with woody bottoms trimmed off
-parmesan cheese for sprinkling
For the sauce, melt the butter (yes, it’s a lot!) in a small sauce pan then set aside.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler 1/3 with water and bring to a light boil. Whisk the three egg yolks, water and lemon juice into the top of the double boiler, set it over the boiling water and stir constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Once it leaves tracks at the bottom of the pot remove from heat. Drop by drop, add the melted butter, stirring and watching for the sauce to thicken. Keep adding butter slooooowly until everything is mixed together.
For the eggs, if you have an egg poacher, hurray! This will be easy. Simply bring the water in the pan to a light simmer, crack your eggs into the poaching dishes, season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook. After about 6 minutes, test for doneness by gently pressing the yolks and when they feel firm with just a little give, they are done.
If you don’t have an egg poacher, this dish gets a little more complicated…Fill a medium pot with about 3 inches of water, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp vinegar. Bring to a boil. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and then with a spoon, swirl the water until it links like a wet tornado. Drop the egg into the middle of the vortex and then leave it lone for 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and get ready to swirl again for the next egg. Add more water if it is no longer high enough to cover and egg completely.
While the eggs are cooking, fill a large, deep pan with an inch or two of water and bring to a boil. Throw in asparagus and simmer until just tender (4-6 min).
Lay 1/4 of the cooked asparagus on a plate and top with 1 poached egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then spoon with sauce. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.Asparagus and Eggs