By Susan Pagani, Communications Director
Once again, it is asparagus season. In honor of this glorious fact, I offer you a bit of trivia and a recipe.
Did you know that asparagus spears sprout predestined to be either skinny or wide? Contrary to popular belief, skinny stalks are not the product of an early harvest and wide stalks are not the result of leaving the spear in the sun for too long -- as their tender center will attest. While both sizes have their merits, this recipe is probably best with the skinny stalks, which roast up crunchy.
Whether it's fried, baked or hardboiled, the egg has long been a popular companion to the fresh flavors of asparagus. This recipe complements both sides of that equation with salt, pungent chives and toasty sesame seeds, and is a perfect accompaniment to brunch, lunch or dinner.
Roasted Asparagus with Sesame & Eggs
Adapted from a NYTimes.com recipe
2 large eggs
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt and black pepper
3/4 tsp. black sesame seeds
3/4 tsp. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
Chopped chives, for garnish.
1. Place eggs in a heavy pot. Cover with 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then cover, turn off the heat, and let eggs cook in hot water for 10 minutes. Crack the shells and put in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes, then drain.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a large baking sheet. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp (I like them a little charred), about 10 minutes, and transfer to a platter.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the black and white sesame seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and toss with coarse sea salt.
4. Peel the eggs and finely chop. Melt butter in the skillet and cook until it starts to smell nutty, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped eggs.
5. To serve, spoon the egg mixture over the asparagus, then sprinkle with sesame salt and chives.