I don’t know about you, but I tend to get pretty excited about spring. As I’ve mentioned before, asparagus is my spring mascot, and finds it’s way onto my table almost every day that it’s in season. This makes for some pretty experimental concoctions. Over the years, it seems like I’ve made asparagus everything: souffle, tarts, pastas, risottos, frittatas, side-dishes, main dishes… And yet, the inspiration continues to strike. So, here’s a fresh, delicious springtime variation on eggs benedict. I’m sure it’s not the last you’ll be seeing of asparagus this year, but definitely a recipe worth trying. When you cut into the poached egg, the creamy yolk and rich hollandaise sauce seep down to lightly coat the asparagus before soaking into the bread underneath, making for a flavorful, delicate and well-balanced dish.
- 12 asparagus spears, steamed or blanched, still warm
- 4 slices of rye bread
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 4 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hollandaise sauce, recipe below
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Toast the bread slices on a baking sheet under the broiler or in a toaster oven.
Poach eggs: Fill a saucepan with about 7-8 cm of water; add vinegar and heat over medium flame until just before boiling point, but do not allow to boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into a small dish taking care not to break it.
Create a whirlpool in the hot water with a spoon and slip the egg from the dish directly into the middle of the whirlpool. Cook, but do not allow to boil, for about 3 minutes or until the egg white is set but yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain. Repeat with remaining eggs. To assemble: Lay a three asparagus spears on each slice of bread, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter (85 g), softened and cut into 6 chunks
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch salt
Beat together egg yolks, 2 tbsp of water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over very low heat (or use a double boiler). Continue to whisk rapidly until light and foamy, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Remove from heat and add the softened butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Return to heat and continue to mix until mixture is bright yellow and thickened. Add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Cover and place in a warm spot (or over a bowl of warm water) until ready to use for the eggs Benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.