‘Tis the season to celebrate mom… and asparagus

If you want to know if spring has arrived, look no further than your local farmers’ market. Asparagus are like the warm weather, they spruce up at the end of March and are at their peak in April and May. Which make them the perfect vegetable to cook up a seasonal and elegant dish on Mother’s day. 

On Tuesday, I attended an event at Smucker Farms and left the U Street market with a basket filled with delectable local products which included, among others, a small bundle of dark purple asparagus. Asparagus come in three different shades, each with its specific taste. Green are the most common, though white asparagus are prevalent in France where I grew up. Purple asparagus are harder to find and are sweeter than their cousins. I was told they would turn green upon cooking, but luckily mine stayed a lovely wine colour, even as I took them out of the oven, and looked quite stunning in contrast to the bright yellow of the poached egg I paired them with.
Grilled Asparagus with Poached Egg, Prosciutto and Chive Drizzle
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Serves two people
For the chive drizzle: 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
For the rest of the recipe: 1 bundle of asparagus (approximately 1lb. I used purple ones, but green ones are perfectly fine too), 2 large eggs, 2 slices of prosciutto, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. 

To prepare the drizzle, pulse all of the ingredients minus the zest in a small food processor until smooth and a bright green colour. Mix in the zest. Season with a little salt and peper and set aside.

Heat the oven at 375F. The asparagus can cook on a baking sheet or a shallow dish, drizzled with a little salt and olive oil for 6-8 minutes on each side. While they cook, work on poaching the eggs. I followed Southern Living’s easy poached eggs instructions. When the eggs are ready and the asparagus are tender (but not too mushy) you can assemble your plate in the following order: arrange the asparagus in a single layer, topped with a slice of prosciutto and the poached egg. Drizzle with the chive mixture and season one last time with a little salt and pepper. The result will be an elegant dish, seasonal and colourful dish. The richness of the runny egg is a perfect complement to the lightness of the spring asparagus, and its bright yellow colour, a stunning contrast with the dark hue of the vegetable. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of North America who are celebrating today! And happy spring to everyone, including my own maman whose fête des mères we’ll celebrate on June 3rd. 

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