Asparagus with poached eggs

The English asparagus season only lasts a couple of months, so make the most of this delicacy by serving in different ways, such as with ham and eggs. Roasting asparagus gives a stronger, brighter taste than steaming or boiling.

For more flavour, rub the bread with a cut clove of garlic or add garlic slivers to the roasting asparagus.

Asparagus and Eggs10 minutes preparation time
15 minutes cooking time
354 Kcal per portion
21.8g fat per portion of which
4.6g is saturated
4 servings

Asparagus spears 12, washed
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Rustic bread or ciabatta 4 large or 8 small slices
Parma or Serrano ham 6 slices, cut in half widthways
Wine or cider vinegar a dash
Eggs 4 large free-range
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Break the ends off the asparagus stalks where they naturally snap. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil and rub it over the spears with your hands. Bake for 5 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, drizzle the rest of the oil over the slices of bread. When cooked, take the asparagus out of the oven and wrap half a piece of Parma ham around each stalk and put back on the baking sheet. Place the bread alongside. Bake for 10 minutes until the ham starts to go crispy, but do not overcook.

3 While the asparagus and bread are baking, bring a wide saucepan of water to the boil and add a dash of vinegar. Break in the eggs one at a time and let them poach over a gentle heat for 3–4 minutes, depending on how you like them.

4 Arrange the baked bread and roasted asparagus on four plates. Then carefully remove the poached eggs from the saucepan with a draining spoon and place on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cook’s tips
• Adding vinegar to the egg poaching water helps the eggs to coagulate more quickly – white, cider or rice is preferable to malt vinegar.
• Wrap the asparagus in Serrano ham, which is easier to handle than Parma ham. Bacon tends to unwrap itself and is too fatty.

Recipe taken from Year Round Round Dairy Cookbook.

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