Friday, 13 March 2015

Asparagus served on Toasted Sourdough with a few added extra's

This recipe embraces a lot of firsts -

The first British Asparagus of the spring.......

The first shoots of chives from my garden........

And the first spring laid eggs from my friends chickens..........

All these items arrived at the same moment in my kitchen - The eggs were dropped off by my friend whilst I was in the garden, cutting some chives, and Andrew had just brought in the shopping from our local greengrocer, which included the asparagus and sourdough  ( yes - our greengrocer sells some 'artisan' breads as well!)  So,  it seemed fitting that I incorporated them all into the same meal. 

Lunch time was imminent and I had planned on grilling some gammon - so these other unexpected, but welcome, ingredients inspired me to make a twist on 'egg benidict' 

Recipe - Serves 2

2 gammon steaks - preferably local sourced organic -they contain less water and more flavour
4 eggs
bunch of asparagus
handful chives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice lemon
salt and pepper
some sliced sourdough

First make up a lemon & chive mayonnaise 

I love this picture - so had to include it somewhere in this post!

Clean and wash off any soil/foreign bodies from the chives and finely slice


In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, the mustard, chives, half the lemon juice, salt & pepper to make a creamy dressing.

Once made, cover and set aside in the fridge until your ready to assemble.

Now its just a case of cooking each individual item and assembling..... so first of all prepare your asparagus, by trimming or snapping of the hard ends of the stalks - if you grip the asparagus spear towards the cut end and bend - it will snap naturally to remove the hard bit.

Next, place the gammon steaks under a medium to hot grill and leave to cook. I just grill on one side - it keeps them from 'drying out' they will take about 8-10 minutes.

Whilst the gammon is cooking set two pans of water to boil. These are to boil the asparagus and poach the eggs.

Once the water is boiling, pop your asparagus in one and crack the eggs in the other to poach - I don't bother with vinegar or swirling the water - if your eggs are fresh then they will hold their shape when poached.

Once you've finished cracking the eggs into the water the asparagus should done. Drain out the water, squeeze in the remaining lemon juice and add a knob of butter - swirl the pan around to get an even coating over the asparagus and then add a little sea salt and some freshly ground pepper - set aside to keep warm.

Now get your sourdough toasting and remove the gammon from the grill. Cut the gammon into rough angular strips....

Once your sour dough has toasted, butter and layout on to plates. lay your gammon strips on top of the toast, then dress with the chive mayonnaise. Place some asparagus spears over the mayonnaise and now our eggs should be done (they only need a few minutes) lift the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon - I like to blot the spoon onto a clean dry tea cloth to remove any excess water -  place a poached egg or two on top. Sprinkle with some spare chives,  a little salt & pepper and serve........

This made for yummy spring time lunch and would make for an excellent Easter Sunday brunch.....

Have a great weekend - I'm off to stay in Bath with Andrew wish me luck with the traffic!!

Love Lizx

P.S. this is what happened when I tried to add another egg to the top........ still tasted good though!