When I arrived home from the farmers’ market last Saturday with a heavy bag of fresh produce, I asked myself, ok…what can I make with asparagus, fresh eggs, spring onion and spring garlic? Luckily, the answer was right at my finger tips—at a wonderful blog called Happyolks. And all I needed was polenta, which luckily I had leftover from the derby party. It was a fantastic brunch—spring in all of its glory. And although I still need much practice, I also came a little closer to perfecting my egg poaching technique. Next time, I’d add more butter to the polenta, and less lemon juice/zest to the dish—it was a tad too much lemon flavor for my liking. But otherwise, a great spring brunch option.
Broiled Asparagus, a Poached Egg, and Charred Spring Onion and Garlic over Grits (from Happyolks; serves 2)
1 cup coarse grits (polenta)
1 bundle (about a pound) asparagus
3 spring onions
2 stalks spring garlic
Lemon juice, lemon zest
olive oil / butter
Combine 1 cup grits with 5 cups cold water in a heavy, deep pot. Bring to a boil, toss in a bit of salt and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring very frequently and adding water and oil/butter to your liking. Meanwhile, prep asparagus on baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and zest of 1 lemon. Broil on the top rack for no more than 5 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside. Slice the white and light green portion of both garlic and onions and toss in leftover olive oil from the asparagus on the baking sheet. Squeeze the juice of the fully zested lemon over the garlic and onions. Add a bit more oil if you feel necessary. Return to the broiler, and check every 2 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Pull them out when they have a nice brown char on the edges. Set aside.
Prepare the water for poaching the eggs in a deep pan. Once things come to a boil, it’s time to start prepping the serving bowls with the warm grits and asparagus. 1-ish cup of the grits, followed by half of the asparagus… bring bowls/plates over to the stove for easy transfer of the eggs.
When the water has just come to a boil, create a vortex in the center by whisking a fork in a counter-clockwise direction. Once you’ve gotten up enough speed, set down the fork and quickly crack the egg into the middle of the whirlpool you’ve created. Now just watch. Seriously. Magic is happening. Cook for 4 minutes.
Place finished egg on top of the asparagus, and pile on a generous handful of charred onions/garlic.
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