Asparagus with Egg & Speck
It’s Asparagus Season. AKA: the best fucking month and a half of our lives.
Spring Asparagus is the best food on the planet. It’s sweet and tender and melts in your mouth; it is not the ropey bland garbage you suffer through in winter. Sure, it makes your pee smell like rotten eggs, battery acid and turpentine, but it tastes like goddamned magic and needs nothing more than a drizzle of Olive Oil and a sprinkle of salt.
… but we figured adding salty, pungent Speck and buttery poached eggs wouldn’t hurt single fucking thing.
Speck is Proscuitto’s bossy older cousin. Flavored with juniper, nutmeg, and tons of garlic, it’s made with the gorgeously fatty pork shoulder instead of the relatively lean leg used in other cured Italian hams. This gives speck a melt-in-your-mouth texture and delivers extra flavor in each bite. The pleasantly bitter (but mostly just smokey-sweet and intensely porky) flavor gives Asparagus the balls it needs to feel substantial on a chilly spring day. While you could certainly sub Proscuitto, if that’s what’s handy, we love working with Speck and think it’s worth seeking out.
Asparagus with Egg & Speck
- Plenty of Water (for poaching Eggs)
- 1 tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Bunch Asparagus
- 1/4 lb Speck, thinly sliced
- Olive Oil
- 4 Eggs
- Good Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Serves: 2 as a substantial meal, 4 as an appetizer
Preheat your oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper or Foil.
Bring a large pot of Water to a bare simmer and add 1 tbsp White Vinegar.
Trim and wash the Asparagus, and separate the bunch into 4-6 evenly sized bundles. The smaller the bundle: the more Speck you get. Plan accordingly.
Wrap each bundle with one slice of Speck and place wrapped end down on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with Olive Oil and roast until the Asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.
While the Asparagus roasts, poach your Eggs. Poaching Eggs isn’t hard even though it can seem intimidating. However, it does take a careful hand and a little thoughtfulness. We really love this tutorial from The Kitchn and recommend checking it out if it’s your first time. We have confidence that you can do it because you’re a fucking adult and it’s just an Egg, okay, so stop freaking out.
Poach the Eggs one at a time by first cracking them into a small container with a handle and gently lowering the entire container into simmering water. While underwater, pour the Egg out of the container and start a timer for exactly 4 minutes. When the for minutes are up: remove your now-poached Egg with a slotted spoon, allow to drain on a paper towel and repeat.
Once the Asparagus is roasted and Eggs are poached, put them together and season with Pepper and a tiny bit of Salt. Speck is pretty salty, so keep your seasonings mostly on the Eggs. If you want to gild the lily, shave a little fresh Parmesan cheese on top.
Serve with bread, obviously, for mopping up yolks.