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 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.
|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.
|Eggs over a bed of mushrooms, ready for baking|
|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!
Lets's get to it and bake!
Asparagus Salad with a Baked Egg Yum
Time: about 20 minutes
You will needBoiling water from the kettle
4 medium size mushrooms, diced
knobs of butter
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 it1. 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.
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).