Though nearly a month ahead of schedule, fresh asparagus is here. You can thank a run of unseasonably warm weather (at least here in the Midwest), but now I just have to figure out what to do with it. I decided to keep it simple. One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to enjoy fresh asparagus is to pair it with an egg, which is exactly what I've written about numerous times before. But I've never combined the two in quite the way prescribed as in The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper, which aims to make an easy dish even easier.
How does one do that? Well, by making it a one skillet dinner, that's how. A large skillet is placed under the broiler until hot, and then chopped asparagus and onion are added. When they are tender and sweet, they are shoved to the sides, clearing the middle for you to crack four eggs right in. Since I have an issue with breaking yolks during the cracking process, I first cracked them into a small bowl and then added them in. Either way, the skillet is placed back under the broiler, and the eggs are cooked until the whites are firm but the yolk is still runny. The only embellishment is freshly squeezed lemon juice and a few slices of crusty bread. I can't think of a better way to welcome in spring, even if it is a little early.
Adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
- Yield:serves 2 to 3
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 4 slices crusty bread
Adjust the oven rack so that it is about 5 inches below the broiler. Turn on the broiler, and let it preheat for a couple minutes. Add the oil to a 12-inch oven-proof skillet and place the pan under the broiler for two minutes. The oil and pan should be hot, but not smoking.
Carefully remove the pan and add the asparagus and onion. Stir well to coat the pieces in the oil. Replace the skillet and close the door. Cook until the asparagus and onion are lightly browned, but not mushy, three to four minutes, making sure to stir halfway through.
Remove the skillet and push the onions and asparagus to the sides of the skillet so that the center is empty. Crack the eggs carefully into the center of the skillet. Return the skillet to the broiler and close the door. Cook until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny, about one minute.
When done, turn off the broiler, and remove the pan. Drizzle the lemon juice on top, and season to taste with salt and pepper. You can eat straight from the pan, or divide the contents between to plates. Serve with the slices of crusty bread.