My mother gifted to me her beloved asparagus dishes. I absolutely love these dishes. They have a beautiful vintage feel and are specifically designed to be used only for asparagus. It’s a pleasure to pull these dishes out of the cabinet to serve asparagus. I don’t use them often but when I do it reminds me of how detailed my mother was when she entertained. It’s very special to acquire some kitchen pieces that you can pass down to future generations. There is a closeness that is felt when you know that you are eating off the same plates that your ancestors ate from.
Should I buy thick or thin asparagus?
There are different size asparagus available. Some are pencil thin and others are thicker. If you are roasting the asparagus in the oven the thin asparagus will work great. You do not need to peel thin asparagus. You simply trim off the bottom, rinse them off, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The asparagus will be done in under 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. You can serve them with a little salt and pepper or shave some Parmigiana Reggiano on top. This makes a beautiful appetizer or side dish.
The thicker asparagus need to be trimmed and peeled from below the tip to the bottom. In this recipe I boil the asparagus for around 6 minutes until they are tender but still bright green. You do not want to serve a brown, over-cooked asparagus. After six minutes you should spill out the water and rinse asparagus with cold water and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. After 5 minutes you can remove the asparagus from the ice bath and place on plates. The asparagus can stay at room temperature for an hour so this is a great appetizer to make when you are entertaining.
How to make a perfect hard boiled egg:
The perfect hard boiled egg should not have dark area between the yolk and white. That does not look nice. You need to pierce the bottom of the egg with an egg piercer before you gently submerge the egg into water. I like the Endurance egg piercer available on Amazon. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator 5 minutes before you place them into the boiling water so they are not shocked by the water. After the eggs have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow them to remain in water for a few minutes. Then set them aside or refrigerate until you are ready to use them. You will have beautiful yellow and white hard boiled eggs.
Some other serving ideas for asparagus:
- A simple dressing made with Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, a touch of Dijon and salt and pepper
- Chilled chopped crabmeat or shrimp mixed with mayonnaise and dill
- Shredded Gruyere or Parmigiana Reggiano. Place under the broiler for a minute to melt if desired.
- Hollandaise sauce
- Brunch idea: Top with a fried egg and ham
Asparagus with Hard Boiled Egg and Prosciutto
- egg piercer
- 16 pc asparagus large not pencil thin
- 2 eggs
- ¼ lb prosciutto di parma sliced thin
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- pierce eggs with egg piercer
- boil water in a sauce pan and gently add eggs
- boil eggs for 10 minutes and then turn off heat. Leave eggs in hot water.
- peel the stem of asparagus and cut an inch off bottom. Rinse in cold water.
- Boil water in a large, deep frying pan. Asparagus need to lay flat in pan.
- add asparagus to pan so they are completely submerged in water
- boil for 5 or 6 minutes until bright green and fork tender
- remove from heat and place asparagus in ice and water to stop cooking
- Mix ingredients together and whisk rapidly until emulsified.
- Taste to adjust salt and pepper
- Peel eggs and separate yolk from white. Chop each separately
- Lay 4 asparagus on each plate
- Drizzle dressing over asparagus
- Top with a line of chopped egg yolk and chopped egg white
- Add sliced prosciutto and serve