Tag: asparagus

Soft Boiled Eggs with Asparagus

Have I mentioned that I love spring?

I also love brunch so I really love that this brunch-y treat is all about the perfect simplicity and clear, bright flavours of spring. Plus, it’s fun to eat.

Begin with a perfectly poached egg (see below for the how-to) and the season’s most beloved vegetable: asparagus.

No need for a vertical steamer or a heavy Hollandaise, nor do you need to select the coveted ‘pencil thin’ stalks only. I love the fatter stalks; they become creamy and succulent when cooked. You will, however, want to prevent your asparagus from feeling like a woody branch in your mouth by delicately snapping the stalks at their natural breaking point (usually an inch or two above where your green-grocer has trimmed them).

To soft boil an egg:

Using a small sauce pan, add as much water as it will take to cover your egg(s). Remove egg and bring the water to a boil. Add egg(s) carefully and simmer for 5 minutes, adding 1 minute for every the 5th egg and each additional egg.

Retrieve the eggs from the water with a spoon. Set upright in egg cup (or other small vessel) and crack the top with a spoon. Peel away the shell and scoop out the egg.

Dip in toast strips (“soldiers”) or steamed asparagus.

Sautéed Asparagus with Tarragon

Oh asparagus: such a fleeting vision. Get it while you can, friends, it doesn’t last long. Whether you like it pencil thin and crisp, thumb-thick and buttery or shaved into ribbons and eaten raw, this is the time to have it. I’ll admit, usually I just steam it or toss inch long pieces into pasta. I like it with lemon, or just a bit of butter, but I don’t usually pair it with herbs, lest it’s delicate flavour be smothered. So imagine how chuffed I was with myself when I found myself standing in the market with a bunch of tarragon in one hand and a bundle of asparagus in the other?

A quick saute in some olive oil got this asparagus off the ground, but the chopped tarragon I threw in for the last 2 minutes of cooking really made it fly. A little sea salt and fresh pepper to finish, and ta-da, a springy, delicious and fast, fast, fast side dish for dinner, or a great addition to breakfast/brunch. (Try dunking the spears into a perfectly runny egg. Heaven.)

Sautéed Asparagus with Tarragon

Rinse and dry 1 bundle of asparagus., Trim the stem ends of any dry bits.

Chop and set aside, 1 tablespoon of tarragon.

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut the asparagus spears into thirds. Toss in the asparagus pieces into the hot pan and toss quickly like a stir fry. Allow to cook, tossing frequently for about 4-5 minutes. If the pan is hot enough they will get a bit browned, which I liked because it amps up the natural nuttiness. If you’d like to keep them pure green, turn down the heat before any caramelization occurs. Add the tarragon for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. The asparagus is cooked when it’s bright green and tender. Add a fine sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, et voila! Bon appetit!