29 March 2012

Simple Roasted Asparagus and Poached Egg

My favorite dinner in March and April is quite simple – roasted asparagus with a poached or fried egg.  The prep time is literally about ten minutes and especially, if you have some bread and maybe even some cheese handy, makes a complete and satisfying meal.  I’ll often make this dinner when I go to yoga after work – I take 5 minutes to prep the asparagus and throw it in the oven when I get back.

The key to this dinner is to use fresh asparagus and eggs.  On the West Coast, we are probably getting asparagus a little sooner than the rest of the county (although with the bout of 70+ weather across most of nation, you may not have to wait too much longer), but fresh eggs are available everywhere.  Please consider supporting your local farmer when buying eggs – my friend Kate (a farmer) has a great blog post about this and she includes advice on how to find good eggs.

1 bunch of asparagus (about the size of your fist)
1 TBL olive oil
coarse sea salt
pepper (optional)

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Rinse the asparagus if there is a bit of soil on it and then stem it.  You can do this by breaking off the bottom of the asparagus.  The bottom two inches (approximately) should snap off easily.
  3. Place the asparagus in a roasting pan, and coat with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Cook for 15-25 minutes (depends on whether you like the asparagus slightly crisp or very well roasted).

I definitely need to clean my oven one of these days.
I’m far from an expert in poaching eggs.  You would think cooking an egg until the white is cooked and the yolk is runny would be relatively simple.  But it turns out there are infinite theories on how to poach an egg.  For better or worse, here’s how I do it:

Poached Egg
  1. Bring a small pot or saucepan of water and 1 tsp of white vinegar to a boil.  (This helps the egg white bind when you poach it.) 
  2. Reduce the water to a simmer. 
  3. Crack an egg into a cup or small bowl and gently dump the egg into the water. 
  4. Cook the egg on low or medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes.  The water shouldn’t be boiling.  Also, I usually err on the side of cooking longer.  Although with smaller eggs I sometimes end up with a yolk that is kind of softboiled, I also rarely have runny egg whites, which I find totally unappetizing.  
  5. Scoop the egg out of the water and place on top of the asparagus.  Season with salt and pepper.  

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  I'm headed to LA to see some friends and am really hopig for some SoCal sunshine! 

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