Poached eggs on Asparagus

Eggs Benedict?

People were talking about Eggs Benedict one day, and I got to thinking about how I might adapt Eggs Benedict to be something we would actually eat. Now traditionally Eggs Benedict is an English muffin with ham or bacon on top, a poached egg on top of that, and Hollandaise sauce poured over it. We don’t eat much ham or bacon here, and we like to have vegetables in our meals. So I substituted canned artichoke bottoms or fresh broiled asparagus for the English muffin, and lox for the ham. The kids loved it, and often ask for it, though they think it’s “too weird” to serve their friends. It’s a good quick dinner and if you have asparagus, the rest of the ingredients you probably already have in the house.

How to make Poached Eggs on Asparagus:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Take a couple of bunches of fairly thin asparagus and cut off the bottom third with a sharp knife and throw it away (I know, you’re supposed to break them one by one, but this is faster). Toss the asparagus with 1/8 cup olive oil on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until it is soft and a little blackened at the edges. Now you need to work quickly while the asparagus cooks.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil. If you cover it, it will boil a little faster. Get ready a carton of eggs and a large serving spoon. Then, make Hollandaise sauce in the microwave. As soon as the Hollandaise is done, when the asparagus is almost done and your water is boiling, begin poaching the eggs: one at a time, crack an egg into the spoon and gently spill it into the boiling water. (This is easier if another person holds the spoon). Make two eggs for each person. Let them cook for about a minute after the last one goes in.

Use that minute to distribute the asparagus on plates and put a few slices of lox on top of each plate of asparagus, crossways to the asparagus. Now use a slotted spoon to fish out the eggs and put them on top of the lox. Finally, pour Hollandaise over the top and serve. We usually have a green salad with it, too.

Vegetarian or Vegan?

Poached eggs and asparagus is vegetarian, if you leave out the lox. Add some salt instead. For a vegan alternative, try broiled asparagus on baked thyme bread with tahini sauce.

Will it keep?

No. Not even for five minutes. By the time you’re poaching the eggs, the family should already be sitting down waiting for it eagerly!

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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