New season’s asparagus with poached eggs
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
- Heat a char-grill or your barbecue grill until hot.
- Toss the asparagus spears in the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place a deep frying pan over a low heat and pour in enough boiling water to fill it to about 10cm.
- You should see tiny bubbles forming over the base of the frying pan.
- Break the eggs, one at a time, into a cup, small bowl or saucer to ensure the yolk is intact.
- Stir the water with a slotted draining spoon to create a whirlpool.
- Carefully drop in 1 egg into the centre of a pool of water, repeat with remaining eggs.
- Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. This will give you a set white and soft yolk.
- Meanwhile, place the asparagus spears on the char-grill and grill until they are covered in dark stripes on all sides and tender.
- When pierced with the point of a small sharp knife. (This takes about 2 minutes, depending of course on the thickness of your spears.)
- Place 6 grilled asparagus spears on each of 4 warmed plates.
- Remove the eggs, one at a time, by lifting out of the water with the draining spoon.
- Rest the spoon for a few seconds on a wodge of kitchen paper to absorb excess water.
- Slip each egg on top of the asparagus.
- Scatter over basil leaves, if using, and serve immediately.