Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Buttered asparagus with lemon and hardboiled eggs

Last week among sick kids, bad weather and little food in the fridge, I found this!

It was such a treat! The asparagus is such a cool looking vegetable isn't it? I should grow some... I say that every year though. They are so sculptural and such symbols of spring! The green colour is spot on with little touches of pink and purple. Each time I can spend a few good minutes just looking at them. Such a treat for the eyes and for the tastebuds.

I can't believe those slender beauties were forgotten in the fridge! Marc purchased them on a whim the week before. In fact I was surprised that they were still in good shape! Without hesitating, I grabbed my wide pan, the last 2 eggs, an old lemon and came up with a speedy, yummy lunch that Marc and I shared while slurping fingers. One girl was in school and the other one preferred her peanut butter and jam "shandwich" which was fine by me. There wasn't much to share! ;) It was a simple pleasure really, cooked asparagus, melted butter, a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. A great side: hard boiled eggs!

I could have poured vinaigrette on them instead. The eggs could have been finely chopped and scattered on top or maybe even poached. A gratin would have been great too with a few rolled slices of good ham but this was a speedy lunch (and it was all I had).

Buttered asparagus with lemon and hardboiled eggs

1 bunch of asparagus
A few tablespoons of butter (3 was what I used)
2 large eggs
Sea salt 
Freshly ground pepper

Fill a small pot with cold water and gently put in your eggs. Make sure there is enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil. The moment it starts boiling put your timer on for 7-8 minutes. Make sure it's not boiling too harshly. I usually turn down the heat to medium high (8). I like it when the yolks are still not too hard (like in the pic above). If you really want hardboiled yolks I suggest 10-12 minutes. When the time is up, remove from heat, and run cold water over them right away. Peel and cut gently in half.

While you wait for the eggs, wash your asparagus. Be gentle with the tips. I used my wide pan above for that. Then gently bend the bottom part of each stem. It will snap and should separate the woody part from the tender stalk. You could trim the stem with a vegetable peeler too (to make it more tender). I think it's a waste, my stems were too skinny and I am greedy. If you're not sure, Google is great help! :)

In a wide pan, pour just enough water to barely cover the bottom. Throw in a sprinkle of salt and bring to a boil. As soon as it's boiling, lay in your asparagus and squirt a few drops of lemon juice on top. Cook till the bottom of the stem is tender (test with the tip of a knife). Mine took a little less than 7 minutes but many times it can take up to 8. Just wait and test. Funny enough the amount of time that it took for the asparagus to cook (on medium high), was just long enough for the water to evaporate without burning.

Asparagus, 7 minutes later.
Drain if you have to (I didn't need to). Tip the hot asparagus in a plate, melt the few tablespoons of butter and drizzle on top to your liking followed by a few more squirts of lemon juice, and a grind of pepper. The butter is salty and the salt in the cooking water was plenty once evaporated but hey, feel free to add more! Please taste first. 

Add your egg halves, sprinkle a bit of sea salt on those followed with freshly ground pepper and dig in! Napkin required. This could have served 4 but made 2 very happy! :)

It's like edible spring in your plate. Hope you try it.

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