This culinary delight from the Inn on the Lake is a quick and rather nifty way to enjoy the combination of tender, fresh asparagus in a buttery, eggy sauce. And it’s an awful lot of fun to eat.
TIP: Look for asparagus in the market from February to June, with April being the peak.
When choosing your asparagus: select the fresh bright green asparagus with no signs of shriveling. The tender tips may have a purplish cast, but they should be firm and tight, never mushy. The cut end will be thick and fibrous—the plant’s reaction to the injury of cutting. This end is cut off before cooking, but if the shoots are fresh, you may lose only an inch.
- 4 large Free Range Eggs
- 16 Asparagus tips
- 2tbls extra virgin olive oil
- Maldon sea salt & milled black pepper
- 4tbls Grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 slices Air-dried Ham (parma, Serrano or similar)
Professional tip – be vigilante when grilling the asparagus, a minutes overcooking will cause them to collapse and lose texture. Remember, the fresher they are, the quicker they cook.
- Trim the asparagus of any woody ends
- Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & black pepper
- Char grill on a ridges cast iron grill pan over a high heat for 3 minutes
- Turn & grill the other side for 30 seconds
- Remove from grill & divide between plates, season with Maldon sea salt and grind of black pepper
- Allow to cool
- Split each ham slice in half length-ways and sprinkle each piece with grated Parmesan cheese
- Roll an asparagus spear tightly in each (making sure that you leave the tip exposed)
- Bring a pan of salted water to boil & cook the eggs for 3 minutes
- Remove and transfer to egg cups
- Slice the tops from the eggs with a sharp serrated knife, exposing the soft yolk
- Season with Maldon sea salt and black pepper
- Arrange asparagus soldiers alongside
- Accompany with some good quality unsalted butter
If you are in a hurry or perhaps not in a “egg mood”, the asparagus are great served straight from the grill and drizzled with vinaigrette, made from best quality olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Shave the Parmesan, rather than grate it and scatter generously over.