Why It Works
- Cooking the egg so that there's a crispy ring just around the white's edge adds texture while still leaving the white mostly tender.
- A runny yolk creates an easy sauce for the asparagus spears.
Asparagus alla Milanese has just three main ingredients—asparagus, a fried egg, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese—but don't let that simplicity fool you. It's an elegant and near-perfect dish: the asparagus is poached until juicy, the egg is lacy around the edges and has a flowing yolk that mingles with the cheese to make a flavorful sauce.
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound (225g) asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22g) unsalted butter
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for grating
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook asparagus until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a small nonstick or cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add egg, season with salt, and cook until whites are just set and the edges are crispy but the yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes.
Arrange asparagus on a plate in a single, even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grate some cheese on top. Slide fried egg on top of asparagus. Drizzle with more oil, grate more cheese on top, and finish with some more freshly ground black pepper. Serve.
Nonstick or cast iron skillet