Martha Stewart Living (May 2009)
Some recipes look so simple and so delicious that you just have to try them, even though they may be out of your culinary comfort zone.
Such was the case with Asparagus with Poached Egg.
As regular readers of the blog well know, we eat our fair share of meat.
And though we're trying to eat more vegetarian meals, a delicate-looking dish like this is still not the sort of fare we typically eat on for dinner.
But asparagus is plentiful right now and we've been buying a few bundles each week, so it was hard to pass up trying this dish.
Is this four-ingredient dish worth your time?
In a word, absolutely!
This meal comes together so quickly! And now's the time to try it, with asparagus so readily available and less expensive right now.
If you want to give this one a whirl, don't be dismayed if you lack an asparagus pot and asparagus basket. You don't need it.
We steamed our asparagus -- as we often do -- in the microwave, by placing it in a shallow baking dish with a thin layer of water (no more than a quarter inch), covering the dish (you can use either a plate or plastic wrap) and microwaving it for 2-3 minutes and then in 1 minute intervals, checking it after each minute by inserting a fork into the stems. When the asparagus is fork-tender, it's ready to be eaten.
Preparing the poached egg is a cinch as well. We followed the recipe and found that our first egg was overcooked after two-and-a-half minutes in the simmering water. So we chucked it and started over. Our second egg was perfect in just under two minutes.
After that, the recipe comes together very simply. We arranged the asparagus on a platter, topped it with the poached egg, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with some salt and pepper.
The result is a richly satisfying but also seemingly light dish bursting with spring flavor.
Give it a try before all the fresh asparagus runs out and let us know what you think!
* 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled
* 4 large eggs
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved
* Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Tie asparagus into a bundle using kitchen twine. Place in the basket of an asparagus pot filled with 1 inch water. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Steam asparagus until tender, 2 to 6 minutes.
2. Fill a large saucepan with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break 1 egg into a small heatproof bowl. Gently tip bowl, sliding egg carefully into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites are set but yolks are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels, and drain briefly.
3. Divide asparagus among 4 plates, and top each with an egg. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.