Soft poached eggs, melted butter and parmesan cheese blanket fresh green asparagus in a silky sauce. A nourishing and simple dish for any time of day.
Another name for this dish is Asparagus in Bed — what’s that you say?
It’s a simple Italian dish of quickly cooked asparagus bathed in a warm saucy “bed” of creamy egg yolk and cheese.
Should you be so lucky to have the pleasure of actually eating asparagus in bed I might have to ask where you live — I’ll be stopping by for a few days of delicious rest.
I don’t eat in bed very often.
Make that never. While I’m sure I would enjoy it, brushing Parmesan crumbles off the sheets would make it seem less exciting.
Maybe I need to make some lifestyle changes.
But seriously, what could be more relaxed and sensual than nibbling tender spears of asparagus with your fingers, dipping into a creamy, runny yolk of a softly poached egg and reclining comfortably. All at the same time?
The recipe is so named because of the way the tips of the asparagus spears peek out from beneath a “blanket” of egg, butter, olive oil and cheese.
The inspiration for this dish is in Cucina Simpatica, a cookbook by the chef/owners of Al Forno in Providence, R.I. At the restaurant, they make this dish by roasting asparagus in a super-hot wood burning oven, then top it off with a butter-fried egg.
When the soft yolk, butter and cheese commingle, they create an instant sauce.
This recipe features steamed asparagus because when I first made it, it was morning, I was hungry, and I didn’t feel like waiting for the oven to get hot.
I also poached my eggs rather than frying for the same lazy reason, but the thought of a buttery fried egg sounds like mmmmm. Let me know if you try it that way, would you please?
This is the kind of simple meal to make for yourself and maybe someone you like a lot, at the start of a lazy day or the end of a busy one.
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 - 4 eggs, cracked into small bowls or ramekins
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the asparagus in a skillet large enough to hold them in one layer (10 or 12 inches diameter). Add 1 teaspoon salt and the water.
- Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and cook 10 minutes or so, stirring the spears around now and then, until the they're are tender when pierced but still bright green in color. Drain, arrange on a serving plate and drizzle with the olive oil.
- In the same skillet, add water to almost fill the pan. Add the vinegar and bring to a simmer. Tip the eggs into the simmering water and cook just until the whites are opaque and set and the yolks are still jiggly.
- Lift the eggs from the water and blot on a towel. Drizzle the asparagus with the butter and cover with the cheese. Place an egg over each portion, season with black pepper and serve.