It’s time …
… to start thinking about … asparagus … !!!
You might have other, more exhilarating things to get your heart fluttering right now. Not a bad thing! I suppose I do, too – but as we know, it’s the edible things in life that get me weak in the knees.
The edible things, that grow from the ground, that allow us as people who enjoy food to truly get excited about putting good stuff into our bodies.
Ah, the power of a vegetable at its prime.
Or should I say, the power of a roasted vegetable at its prime. Because when you roast asparagus – like most other veggies – at a very high heat, something magical happens. I’m going to trust that you’ve done this before. Because I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it ad nauseam. But – the real question remains: Have you ever topped said asparagus with fried capers? And perhaps more importantly – poached eggs?
There’s a lot of magic happening in this dish, and if you’re afraid of poaching eggs, well, then I triple-dog-dare you to try it. If you, too, go weak in the knees for a creamy egg yolk running over your toast, ridiculously-delicious roasted asparagus, hash browns, whatever – then you simply must learn how to poach an egg. Because more often than not, restaurants will undoubtedly screw this up, which leads me to throw a temper tantrum in my head because now my breakfast is ruined, and all I really wanted was a proper eggs Benedict and why must I suffer from an overcooked egg yolk that doesn’t. run. anywhere. ?
Oh, is that just me? Clearly, I take my breakfast quite seriously.
There are a lot of ways to do it – this whole poaching of the egg thing – and below I’ve included the method I learned from my imaginary-bloggy-BFF, Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Here you’re poaching one egg at a time, but I found it to be pretty fool-proof, and I actually even sort of enjoyed it. I learned from Alton that if you want to do it ahead of time, you can refrigerate the poached eggs in cold water and simply reheat, though I’m thinking if I were doing poached eggs for a crowd, I’d probably try a new method involving more than one at a time.
You’ll surely have no problems with frying the capers – that I can attest to, and just wait until you taste those little bursts of brightness on your tongue. It all adds up to a very happy marriage of flavors and textures.
The only thing missing is a pitcher of seriously spicy bloody mary’s – add that, and you’re on your way to a weekend brunch for the record-books.
- 2 pounds asparagus spears
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup capers, drained
- 4 large, fresh eggs
- Splash of white vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees if your asparagus is on the thick side, 450 degrees for the thin variety.
- Trim the rough bottoms of the stalks so they are all about the same length. Place them on a sheet pan and drizzle with half the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and move them around on the pan to coat in the oil.
- Roast for 8 minutes, shaking the pan a few times in between. Place asparagus on a platter and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the capers for a minute or two until crisp; remove them from the pan and set them aside.
- Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. You don’t want boiling water, so once it gets there turn the heat down so that it’s at a gentle simmer. Add a splash of vinegar.
- Break an egg into a small bowl or dish. This just makes it easier to drop into the water.
- Make a whirlpool with your spoon or spatula, and drop the egg into the center of it using your other hand. Gently retract your whirlpool and let the egg do its thing. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove the egg with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
- Repeat with 3 remaining eggs. If you wish, you can add all of the eggs back into the hot water (just take the pot of the heat – the water should not be simmering or boiling) for 30 seconds or so to re-warm them.
- Serve the asparagus with the poached eggs and capers on top.