We popped into a local restaurant on a long walk last week to check out what they were serving and to see if by any chance they had open spots for Sunday (they didn’t – Mother’s Day was, not surprisingly, sold out). The manager walked us through the special of the month: the Asparagus Week buffet.
As I read down the list, I kept thinking: I can make these at home. Asparagus! Now there’s a seasonal vegetable to take advantage of. Stockmann had asparagus on a special sale, and while our local asparagus isn’t available yet, I bought a couple of bunches and brought it home for kitchen experimentation.
First up were these super simple but ultimately delicious Asparagus Mozzarella Bruschetta. Here’s a dish that is literally 15 minutes from start to finish. Turn your oven on. Shave the asparagus while the oven heats up. Rub garlic on bread and drizzle olive oil. Pop bread in oven. Cook asparagus. Pull bread out. Assemble. Bread back in oven. Fry Eggs. Plate. Serve.
If shaving asparagus into thin ribbons seems like too much work – trust me: it’s worth it. You’ll know exactly why when you take your first bite.
Go get your hands on some asparagus. These are delicious. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Snack? Take your pick. There’s no time of day when you’d be sad to be sitting in front of this plateful.
Asparagus Mozzarella Bruschetta w/ Fried Eggs
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Line an oven pan with parchment paper.
- 4 slices artisan bread; I prefer whole wheat sourdough
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
- olive oil
- 8 asparagus spears
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 grinds fresh black pepper
- 8-10 basil leaves, julienned
- 1/2 ball buffala mozzarella, diced
- 4 organic eggs
Lay the bread out on the pan and rub the surface of each with 1/2 garlic clove (you should use up the entire clove in this process. Drizzle the bread slices with olive oil and place in the hot oven. Set the timer for 5 minutes. If the timer rings before the asparagus is done, check to see if the bread is toasted to a golden brown. If it is, pull the pan from the oven and set aside until you are ready to assemble the bruschetta. (It may need more time: oven temperatures and bread thickness varies, so do check it and put it back in if needed).
Cut the tough ends off of the asparagus spears and discard or save for vegetable broth. Cut off the tips and reserve. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus spears into long, thin ribbons. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mince the remaining garlic clove half and add it to the pan. Stir briefly until the garlic just begins to brown. Add the asparagus, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Cook the asparagus shavings until the just begin to soften. Remove from heat, stir in the basil, and transfer the asparagus to a plate.
Return the pan to the heat and add more oil if needed. Add in the asparagus tips and cook until crispy. Remove the asparagus spears from the pan.
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Carefully crack in 4 eggs into the pan. Let the eggs cook briefly until the white just begins to set around the edges. Carefully pour in about 3 tablespoons of water and cover with a lid to steam the eggs.
While the eggs cook, assemble the bruschetta. Divide the buffala mozzarella evenly between the four slices of bread. Arrange the asparagus shavings over the top and arrange two asparagus tips on the top of each bruschetta. Return to oven for 1 minute. By this time, your eggs will be done.
Serve 2 for a main course or 4 as a starter.
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