In Chef's Table

The English asparagus season officially begins on St Georges Day, 23rd of April and runs for just 6 weeks.

Associated with everything from hangover cure to increasing libido, the asparagus is also linked to many historical folklore tales and stories.

This mighty green can grow up to 10cm a day – it’s not affectionately known as the Usain Bolt of veg for nothing, and has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for over 2,000 years

For cooking it’s incredibly versatile and a perfect match for all types of food and styles of cuisine.

To pay homage to this king of British veg, here’s a simple yet classic recipe that showcases the unique flavour of early season asparagus, bringing the best out of this beautiful plant

Grilled Asparagus, Parma ham, avocado, toasted hazelnuts, soft poached egg on sourdough toast

  • 6 x stalks of asparagus – snap off the bottom couple of centimetres
  • 2 x slices Parma ham
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 x tablespoon of toasted and chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 x large very fresh egg – or a duck egg if you can find one
  • 1 x nice thick slice of sourdough
  • Good olive oil
  1. Heat a ribbed griddle pan (or heavy base frying pan)
  2. Rub some oil on the sourdough and toast in the pan. When nicely browned remove and wipe pan with cloth.
  3. Add egg to water on a rolling boil
  4. Toss asparagus in a little olive oil then place on hot griddle pan – cook for 3-4 minutes (the same time it takes to cook the egg, add a little salt and pepper
  5. Crush the avocado onto the toast, place the ham over it then the asparagus. Drain the excess water from the poached egg and place over the asparagus, finish with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and enjoy.
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