Photograph by Joseph De Leo Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Poached Egg

Starters from Issue 1 – Summer 2012 – Float

“A poached egg isn’t a poached egg unless it’s been stolen from the woods in the dead of night!” We think of that Roald Dahl line every time that ethereal cloud of milky white hits our plate. And smile. Add a tangle of shaved summer asparagus, and it becomes a broad grin.

serves 4

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated Parmigiano for sprinkling

Poached Eggs
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 eggs

  • 1

    Using a vegetable peeler, finely shave the asparagus spears lengthwise into thin strips. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

  • 2

    In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • 3

    Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 inches of water. Add three teaspoons lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack an egg into a small cup. Using a spoon, gently swirl the simmering water and slide the eggs in. Repeat with remaining eggs. Keep the water at a mellow simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until the whites have set but the yolk remains soft and runny.

  • 4

    Meanwhile, quickly toss the asparagus with the lemon dressing and divide between four plates. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to nest on the asparagus. Sprinkle with Parmigiano, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

    Note: If you like, you can pre-poach the eggs transferring them to a bowl of ice water to stop their cooking. When ready to serve, very briefly plunge in boiling water just to rewarm.