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Grilled Asparagus with Soft-Boiled Egg and Parmigiano Reggiano
I’m feeling spring when I make this simple, comforting dish. Turn it into an entree by serving atop nutty grains such as quinoa or farro.
Serves 4 as a first course
Four eggs, soft-boiled (they should still be warm when you serve them, so start them at the same time you light the grill)
One bunch pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed, washed, and patted dry
Extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ lb. (4 ounces) Parmigiano Reggiano
Zest of one orange
>Start grill. Toss asparagus with salt, pepper, and just enough olive oil to coat stalks. When coals are medium-hot, add stalks at an angle so they don’t fall through the spaces in the grill, leaving a bit of room between them. Alternatively, you can pass skewers horizontally through the stalks (like making a kebab). Grill until tender and slightly caramelized, and place in a large bowl. Toss asparagus with lemon juice.
>Peel eggs; the yolks should be soft but not runny. Divide asparagus on four plates, forming a small mound on each. Place an egg in center of asparagus, and, using a paring knife, cut each egg in half, lengthwise. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. With a vegetable peeler, shave Parmigiano-Reggiano over each plate, and garnish with orange zest.
Tip: To soft-boil eggs, place in medium saucepan of cold water, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for exactly five minutes. Remove from stove, place eggs in a colander and run cold water over them to halt the cooking process.
©The Sustainable Kitchen®, 2012