Asparagus soldiers with soft-boiled egg hollandaise
This is a quick and rather nifty way to enjoy the combination of tender, fresh asparagus and a buttery, eggy sauce without any of the work that a proper hollandaise requires. And it's an awful lot of fun to eat. As with all asparagus recipes, get the very freshest spears you can.
Prep 2mins Cook 4mins Servs 2
Prepare the asparagus by snapping off any woody ends (the spears will break naturally where they are tender). You could steam the asparagus spears above the boiling eggs - if very freshly cut, they will take about the same amount of time.
Otherwise, simmer or steam the asparagus separately until tender but not too floppy - 8 minutes at the most for the thickest stems. Time them so they are ready just ahead of the eggs.
Meanwhile, bring another pan of water to the boil. Carefully lower in the eggs and simmer for about 4 minutes, (the yolk must be quite runny or the hollandaise effect will be hard to achieve). Drain the asparagus well as soon as it is cooked and divide the spears between 2 warm plates. Transfer the eggs to egg cups and put them on the plates with the asparagus.
To eat, crack the egg and take off enough of the top to expose the runny yolk. Drop a nut of butter, a few drops of cider vinegar and some salt and pepper into the yolk, stir with a bit of asparagus, dip and eat. You can add a little more butter, vinegar and seasoning as you go. Some brown bread and butter won't go amiss.
- About 20 asparagus spears
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- A knob of unsalted butter
- A little cider vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Who needs meat? During the River Cottage Veg cookery course you'll learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes.