By Cassie Johnston
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I’m kinda an NPR junkie. I think there’s some switch that flips on in your late 20s that suddenly makes NPR totally fascinating and awesome. There are so many shows I love on NPR, but one of my favorites is The Splendid Table.
I never would have thought a food show could be so successful on the radio. I mean, no photos, no smells, no tasting, but it really is incredible. Every show leaves my mouth watering and me itching to get into the kitchen.
One time I was listening in, and the show started off with a description of the simplest, easiest, most delicious sounding asparagus recipe I’d ever heard—Midnight Asparagus. It’s a one skillet meal that’s all cooked under the broiler in about 10 minutes, resulting in an insanely delicious, insanely easy dinner for two (or midnight snack, if you’re living up to the name of the recipe).
Our asparagus patch is just starting to produce, and I’m loving every fresh, tender spear of it. I’m sure I’ll eventually get sick of living on asparagus, but for now, I’m reveling in our harvest!
Asparagus is actually pretty easy to grow around here. I know some people struggle with it because it’s such a heavy feeder, but it comes up year-after-year around here without any issues. Since asparagus is a perennial (meaning, it comes up every year from the same plant), we’re still eating off the same plants my parents planted in the garden years ago.
To get it to produce in the spring, all we have to do is give it a little blanket of mulch over the winter, give it a heavy layer of compost in late winter, then come early spring, we’ve got spears! Easiest veggie ever.
This recipe is so simple and so easy that it seems like it has to be bland, but it’s just the opposite. The simple flavors really let the flavors of the fresh asparagus shine. The soft-cooked eggs make for a velvety sauce that coats the asparagus and onions and is delicious sopped up into a piece of crusty bread. To balance out the richness of the eggs, I squeezed half a lemon on top to add a nice hint of acid.
We’ll be eating this midnight asparagus all asparagus season long. Enjoy!
4.5 from 2 reviews
This quick, tasty, and nutritious Midnight Asparagus and Eggs is just as welcome for dinner or a midnight snack as it is for breakfast.
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into one-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
4 large eggs
1-2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the broiler on high. Put the butter in a large cast iron or other ovenproof skillet, and put the skillet under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the butter is melted.
Add the asparagus, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir. Return the pan to the broiler for about five minutes, until the asparagus is somewhat tender but not fully cooked.
Use a spoon to make four wells in the asparagus mixture for the eggs. Carefully crack one egg into each well. Broil for 2-5 more minutes, checking frequently, until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny (or until cooked to your liking).
Remove the skillet from broiler and top with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve directly from the skillet or transferred to individual plates. This is especially delicious accompanied by some crusty bread or toast!
You can use a sweet onion instead of a regular one to impart a delicious hint of sweetness to the finished dish.
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I am ALL about eating seasonally! I don’t have my own garden (since I bare the curse of my mother’s “black thumb”) but my boyfriend has a knack for it and I can’t WAIT until his crops start coming in! In the meantime, I’ve been scouting out the sales at the grocery store…I found a really great deal on TWO POUNDS of asparagus and proceeded to eat it all myself in about a week and a half! Haha! Nothing fancy over here though…mainly just steamed…and then in the last few days the lazy girl came out and I took to eating it raw dipped in ketchup (yes, I am a little weird…thanks for asking!). Of course, now that I’m seeing your delicious recipe (and loving how easy/quick it is), I’m thinking I might just have to go back and buy ANOTHER two pound bag! :)
It’s always amazing when the seasonal stuff goes on sale isn’t it? I’m that way with Brussels sprouts. I swear I grabbed 10 pounds of sprouts last Fall in one trip to Trader Joe’s! So cheap! So yummy!
This sounds amazing! I look forward to making some when the asparagus is in season here in Ontario. Soon I hear, maybe even get some at the farmers market this weekend. I”m waiting because it’s the first thing I can for the year and my pickled asparagus is a hit! I do love it just steamed or blanched but for long term storage, or to deal with an over abundant patch (jealous!) I do love my canning.
I plan my weekend errands so I can listen to the Splendid Table on the way that show is simply the best. I’ve been out of town a lot so I must have missed this one but it looks delcious. Do the eggs taste similar to poached? I love poached eggs.
Mmmm, yum! Since you love asparagus, try grilling them! All you have to do is spray oil and sprinkle salt on them. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Oh, I love the splendid table!! I always listen to their “turkey “confidential” show on thanksgiving when I’m cooking all day.
I love mixing asparagus and eggs, especially hard boiled, crumbled on top of the asparagus with a Dijon vinaigrette. i think i first got the idea here, from the blog Orangette http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/04/safe-bet.html
mmmm… Spring eats!!
Asparagus spears roasted in a smokin hot cast iron skillet, either on top of the stove or in the oven. Then just a sprinkle of coarse salt and a drizzle of sesame oil. The combination of asparagus and sesame oil is just so delicious, it never makes it out of the kitchen and onto a dinner plate. If you can manage to get some toasted sesame seeds on top before it disappears,that’s even better!
1. I am absolutely obsessed with all things NPR, but haven’t listened to The Splendid Table; thanks for the tip, I am all over it now!
2. My favorite way to eat asparagus is the shaved asparagus pizza from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Peeling the asparagus is a pain, but totally worth it in the end!
Such a beautiful recipe. loved it!
Super easy to make and my husband rates it a 7/5! I added some jalapenos and used coconut oil in place of butter. Thanks for this recipe! :)
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