Distinctly different asparagus
An exciting and original dish made from fresh and simple summer ingredients.
- 36 plump asparagus spears, as fresh as you can get
- 6 grass-fed, free range organic chicken’s eggs. Bantam’s are even better eggs - a vivid bright yolk colour is important.
For the chive beurre blanc:
- 1 small glass of white wine
- 2 oz unsalted butter
- Half a pint of double cream
- 2 oz of shallots
- A handful of chives.
To coat the poached eggs:
- 4 oz of flour
- 4 beaten eggs
- 4 oz of breadcrumbs
Cut your asparagus spears to an even length and plunge into a large pan of boiling water and Maldon salt. Test with a fork and remove and drain while still just crunchy. Keep warm.
To make the beurre blanc, dice the shallots, add with the wine to a small pan and reduce by half. Add the cream, bring to the boil, reduce again and whirl in the knobs of butter. Chop the chives and fold in as the sauce cools.
Now for the tricky bit: First lightly poach the eggs in boiling water. Get a good swirl going before dropping each egg in with a spoon. Just 60 seconds will do. Gently remove with a slotted spoon and carefully drop into iced water. To coat the eggs, move them gently through three small bowls, the first containing flour, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third. Heat some cooking oil in a small wok or saucepan and cook the coated eggs until golden brown, not too much.
To serve, make a little heap of asparagus, dress with beurre blanc and top with a golden egg, crossed with a pair of chives. Pierce the egg on one side; the golden yolk should slowly spill out over the vivid green asparagus stems.
Tip from South Farm:
- For tenderness and delicate flavour, pick your asparagus spears the evening after a soft spring rain. If it brings a glut, just store the surplus in a beaker of water in a cool larder. They continue to grow and don’t loose that pristine just-picked flavour you never can buy.
This recipe comes courtesy of Philip Paxman at South Farm, a beautiful new venue for weddings and corporate events in Cambridgeshire.