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Friday, 24 April 2015

Asparagus Salad with Baked Egg

An easy, delicious and warm salad, which includes sauted asparagus, coddled (baked) egg and croutons.  It's a must make when asparagus is in season!

Asparagus Salad with Baked Egg

In honour of the fact that the new season British asparagus will be about to hit our shelves, here is a really easy, delicious and healthy vegetarian asparagus salad.  I say healthy because not all salads are actually healthy.  Being smothered in dressings they often contain more calories than burger and chips!

Asparagus can be particularly expensive, which I imagine reflects the difficulty and commitment needed to grow them.  Even BBC's Monty Don had to re-start his asparagus beds recently because they just weren't right!  So, I'm certainly not going to advocate that you grow your own asparagus!  But I'm led to believe, by Morrison's supermarket as stated in the Metro, that farmers are anticipating a bumper asparagus harvest this year (2015)!  So, going by the economic theory of supply & demand, the price should be a little more pocket friendly.  This all said, I bought our 10 asparagus spears from Asda for just £1.00.


Asparagus Salad with Baked Egg
Finding the natural break in the asparagus spear
Asparagus is seriously healthy for you. Being packed full of Vitamins A, C, E and K.  They're also ranked amongst the top fruits and vegetables for their free-radical fighting abilities. Have a read here for a quick overview and asparagus recipes, or for something more comprehensive and detailed check out these 31 health benefits of asparagus.
  
Baked eggs, which are also called coddled eggs, are  really easy and tasty to make.  In this recipe I've placed the eggs on a bed of sautéed mushrooms, but if you prefer you could also try using caramelised onions, chopped tomatoes, spinach or cheese.  Alternatively, the egg baked on it's own is just as lovely.

Asparagus Salad with Baked Egg
Eggs over a bed of mushrooms, ready for baking
As for the ramekins, I used ones saved after enjoying a GU dessert. I didn't fancy throwing them away, they do come in very useful.  It's a great way to recycle and because they're clear, I think it adds a little bit more excitement to the meal.

Our Feline Friend
Our boy, who helps the birds!
Now, I'm going to go off on a tangent now, I just have to share it with you...As many of you know, Mr E & I share our lives with a ragdoll, a semi-long haired cat.  During the year we save his fur after grooming and at the start of spring I pack it into a peanut feeder, with bits of fur sticking out.  Here's the fun part - cute little blue tits come and take bundles of it to line their nests! It's so lovely to watch such tiny birds fly off with big bundles of fur for their babies to sleep in, which once belonged to their main predator! 

You may just be able to pick out the blue tit
(to the right of the feeder) getting a bundle of cat fur!

Back to the matter in hand.

Lets's get to it and bake!


Asparagus Salad with a Baked Egg       Yum

Serves : 2
Difficulty: Easy
Freezable: N/A
Time: about 20 minutes

You will need

Boiling water from the kettle
2 eggs
4 medium size mushrooms, diced
knobs of butter
Sunflower oil
Seasoning
Splash of milk
2 Thick slices of crusty bread, diced for croutons
handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
50g - 60g feta cheese, cubed.
Half bag of mixed salad
10 asparagus spears, prepared
2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

How to make it

1.  Pre-heat your oven to 190c / Fan 180c / Gas 5.
2.  Cook the mushrooms.  Place a little of the oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan set over a medium heat.  Once melted, sauté your mushrooms.  This will take about 3 or 4 minutes.
3.  Prepare & fill the ramekins.  Grease each of the ramekins with a little butter. Place the sautéed mushrooms in the bottom of the ramekins and crack an egg into each.  Add a spoonful of milk and season.
4.  Put the ramekins in a water bath.  Place the ramekins onto a tray with sides and fill the tray with the boiled water so that it comes half way up the side of the ramekins.
5.  Bake.  Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (up to 18 minutes for a harder cooked yolk).
6.  Make the croutons.  Meanwhile, place a little more oil and butter into the frying pan and cook the bread to make crispy croutons.
7.  Arrange the salad.  Dress the plates with salad, tomatoes, feta cheese and cooled croutons (and anything else you fancy).
8.  Cook the asparagus.  Wipe your frying pan clean, then add a little more oil & a knob of butter to it.  Add the prepared asparagus and gently cook over a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further minute.  This will help to create a little salad dressing when it mixes with the oil.
9.  Remove the baked eggs from the oven.  Meanwhile take the ramekins out of the oven and sit on a clean towel to dry their bases.
10. Finish the salad.  Place the ramekins onto the salad plate. Add the cooked asparagus.  Use a teaspoon to drizzle a little of the balsamic vinegar / oil mixture over the salad if desired.


Enjoy!








 

This post has been shared with:

 Tinned Tomatoes 'Meat Free Mondays Link'.... have a look at the other vegetarian / vegan dishes that have been shared.
 'No Croutons Required, co-hosted by Lisa's Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes (this month hosted by Lisa).

#CookBlogShare Cuddle Fairy





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13 comments:

  1. this looks so good!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

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    1. Thanks Helen! It's seriously tasty, with just a few simple ingredients.
      Thanks for reading x
      Angela x
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  3. Haha your cat is so adorable, definitely okay to go off on a tangent when he's that cute! This looks delicious as well, bookmarking to my healthy eating folder! xx

    lacoconoire.com

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    1. Thanks Katie, It really is delicious, healthy and so simple to make.
      Ha-ha, I'll let him know that he's adorable, it'll probably go to his head though! ;)
      Angela x
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  4. Asparagus is one of my favourite things, when it's in season! Thanks for the tip about the bending point. I've heard this before, but never knew how much to trim off. A great recipe, thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

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    1. Asparagus is so yummy isn't it, but when it's in season as you say. We just need to celebrate that season as much as possible given how short it is. I saw the process of finding the natural break on a Jamie Oliver programme some time ago. (Though I do wonder if it actually removes a little too much stem).
      Thank you for reading.
      Angela x
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  5. Lovely recipe. Asparagus is my husband's favorite. Thanks so much for sharing with NCR. I will have to try this as asparagus does pair so well with eggs.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Ooh do try, hope you enjoy it. I can certainly understand why it's one of your husband's favourite veg, it's just so yummy.
      Thanks for reading
      Angela x

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  6. What a lovely summer salad! Sounds delicious! #foodpornthursdays ps. I love the way you recycle the cat hair! Too cute! x

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    1. Thank you Emma, it's really tasty. Hope you give it a go.
      Ha-ha, it's so cute watching the birds collect our boy's fur. We thought the birds had finished taking the fur for their nests a few wk ago, but last night we had a stunning goldfinch take some. Wondering if they're preparing for a second clutch.
      Thanks for popping over Emma & reading.
      Angela x
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  7. I love asparagus but no one else in my clan will eat it :( I have tried cooking it many ways. But I will make some of this for myself. Thanks for sharing another great recipe with #foodpornthursdays.

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    1. Aw what a shame, though I must admit it can have quite a strong flavour sometimes. Yes, do treat yourself and make some whilst it's still at its best. x
      Thanks for popping over to read.
      Angela x
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