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Food & Drink Culture Seasonal Musings

Asparagus (Part Two)

They’re still in season, and we’re still loving shoehorning asparagus into as many dishes as possible. Try this for a quick and flavourful warm Spring salad:

Warm asparagus, poached egg and Parmesan salad

The easiest way to cook asparagus is to dry-fry or griddle it – quickly, delicately – bringing out the flavour and texture with some crisp charring. This dish has a really fast turnaround time – so long as you can poach and griddle simultaneously. Serve with some good crusty bread.

Serves 4


Olive oil, for griddling and drizzling
300g asparagus, trimmed
4 eggs
4 tbsp hollandaise sauce, optional (see Hollandaise recipe)
Plenty of mixed salad leaves
Parmesan, for shavings
Chive flowers, to garnish


Lightly oil a frying pan or griddle and get it hot before laying the asparagus spears flat on the heated surface. You may have to do this in batches, but each batch should only take a couple of minutes. Turn the spears over now and then to ensure they cook through without burning – though some charring is good.

While the asparagus is griddling, poach the eggs for 2 – 3 minutes in simmering salted water. Warm the hollandaise sauce if you are using it and get four plates ready by putting a generous handful or two of salad leaves on each.

Divide the crispy asparagus between the plates and drizzle with olive oil. Drain the poached eggs using a slotted spoon and carefully balance one on each heap of asparagus and leaves. Spoon some hollandaise over the top if you like, then finish with a good handful of Parmesan shavings, some sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper. If you have them, scatter some chive flowers across the top.

Recipe from Bill’s cook book: Cook Eat Smile, available online and in our restaurants