Home again in France and happy to be so.
In spite of being bleary-eyed from the journey yesterday, I don’t miss another sign of the change of seasons: an asparagus stall at the Realmont market this morning.
At the bigger Castres market on Saturday there’ll be several, piled high with the new green and white asparagus spears. I much prefer the green–a matter of taste and habit.
It may be a little early for this superfood, but I buy 500 grams/1ib, a generous serving for two–about 7 spears each, plus a few for testing.
I know there’s a piece of bacon in the fridge–about 4oz/100gms– which I will dice small, gently sauté to a crispy finish.
I’ll dress the asparagus with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt–whisked together; sprinkle over the bacon bits and top it off with a carefully placed poached egg.
An easy lunch for two weary people.
For the asparagus:
Trim the rough base of the spears, making them all about the same length.
Choose a saucepan or sauté pan that will take them all lying horizontally, and that’s wide enough to take a steamer basket/tray.
Fill the pan with water to the depth of the basket.
Place the asparagus horizontally in the basket and cover the pan.
It’s handy to cook an extra spear that you can use to test for doneness.
6–8 minutes should do it, depending on the thickness of the spears.
Pierce a spear with the tip of a knife to test for doneness–or better still, use your teeth!
When they are tender, divide them between two plates.
Spoon over a little dressing and share out the bacon dice.
Carefully place a poached egg on top.
Wrapping the ends of the asparagus in a damp paper or cloth towel, helps preserve the freshness of the asparagus in the refrigerator. Best to eat asparagus within 48 hours of purchase–but why wait anyway!