A poached egg with a soft yolk serves as “instant” Hollandaise sauce for this single serving of grilled asparagus. Makes a lovely appetizer or vegetable side.
My 10-year old palate never dreamed asparagus might be a delicacy. Mom grew it in her garden back home in Indiana, so we had plenty. Olive green and cooked till mushy, asparagus for dinner was reason enough to feign nausea and head for bed.
As an adult, I discovered a new appreciation for asparagus, and not just because I figured out how expensive it was in the store. After eating it grilled, I was smitten.
While celebrating our anniversary at a nice restaurant recently, we were served freshly grilled asparagus with a soft poached egg on top. The waiter called it “instant Hollandaise.” Simple but sophisticated.
How do I grill asparagus if I don’t have a grill?
You have several choices. Use a grill pan if you have one or use a regular skillet with a little bit of butter to sauté the asparagus.
Another choice is a conventional oven. Bake at 450˚F. Place olive-oil-coated asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet. It only takes a few minutes when you do it this way. Watch carefully to avoid overcooked asparagus.
How will I know when the asparagus is cooked?
Asparagus will turn bright green when it is perfect. It should be tender, but not mushy or stringy. Skinny asparagus cooks really fast so keep your eyes on it. And remember that it will continue to cook a little after you remove it from the heat.
If you like your asparagus soft, cook it until the color is olive green or about the same color as canned green beans.
How do I make this recipe for more than one person?
It’s easy to scale this recipe for more servings. Use one egg per serving.
In regards to how much asparagus you will need, I will defer to Piggly Wiggly.
“One pound of asparagus contains 12-15 spears that typically measure 9-10 inches long and 1/2-3/4 inch thick. One pound serves 2-4 people.”
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. Questions? Email me: paula at saladinajar.com.
- 1 tablespoon toasted bread crumbs
- 6-8 stalks fresh asparagus with the tough stalk trimmed
- 1 soft-cooked, poached egg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preparing Bread Crumbs:
- Use a food processor or blender to tear a slice of stale bread into small pieces the size of oatmeal.
- Saute in a skillet over medium heat with enough butter to barely coat crumbs and give a nice crunchy brown crust.
- After washing asparagus, cut off the tough ends--usually about 1-2 inches
- Lightly spray or brush asparagus with olive oil.
- Preheat grill for 20 minutes.
- Grill over medium-high heat until spears begin to turn bright green, turning once or twice as they cook.
- Remove asparagus to a serving plate.
- Preheat a non-stick skillet over med-low heat.
- Add butter. When it is melted, add 1 tablespoon of water. Carefully crack an egg and drop it into a skillet. Cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook until the egg turns white over the top of the yolk. The yolk itself should still be soft.
- Carefully place an egg on top of the grilled asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and top with toasted bread crumbs.
More ways to grill asparagus:
Use a grill pan on top of the stove. Heat over high heat. Turn asparagus as grill marks appear. Asparagus is done when it turns bright green.
Use your oven to grill asparagus. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place asparagus on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Depending on the thickness of the asparagus, this may take 4-10 minutes. Watch closely.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g