Sauteed Asparagus with Eggs and Parmesan
Asparagus has a wonderful affinity with egg and a hint of cheese, especially Parmesan. In this recipe it is sautéed to a nutty brown at the edges, sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar and served with fried eggs, though you can poach them if you prefer. If you really want to have some fun, try little fried quails' eggs, which look so pretty and dainty with their lacy brown edges – like all eggs, though, they must be very fresh, so you need a reliable supplier. Just before serving scatter a few shavings of parmesan over and you have an absolutely stunning summer lunch for two people.
Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from www.bookhamcheese.co.uk
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This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.
First prepare the Parmesan: for this you need a potato peeler to lightly shave off tiny slivers till you have approximately 1 tablespoon. In the first frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a high heat, add the asparagus stalks then immediately turn the heat down to medium.
Move the stalks about in the pan and turn them so that they are a little toasted at the edges (they should take 3-4 minutes to cook but this will depend on their thickness).
When they're done, turn off the heat, add the balsamic vinegar and let them keep warm in the pan while you cook the eggs. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the other frying pan.
Then, if you are using quails' eggs, make a small slit in the shells with a sharp (preferably serrated) knife – if you crack them like hens' eggs, the yolks will break. When the oil is hot, quickly break each egg into the pan one after the other, then tilt the pan, baste the eggs with hot oil and after about 1 minute they will be done.
Arrange the asparagus on warmed serving plates with the pan juices drizzled over.
Top each portion with 3 quails' eggs or 1 hens' egg, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, sprinkle on the Parmesan and serve pronto!
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