The First Days of Spring: Grilled Asparagus and Soft Boiled Duck Egg Brunch

22 Mar

Nothing says “Spring” more to me than asparagus. The fresh green spears make an appearance a lot earlier here in Spain than in the UK but I still wait until Spring to buy them.  I bought some this week for the first time this year and wanted the first of many asparagus dishes to be a simple celebration of this unique, delicious vegetable.

The Washer Up is working with someone who keeps ducks & chickens at the moment and he, very kindly, gave us some duck eggs to try. I have eaten a duck egg once before, it was on top of a salad I ordered in the restaurant in Harvey Nichols in Leeds (those were the days)!  They have a slightly richer, creamier flavour than a normal egg but nothing to be scared off.  I’ve never cooked with duck eggs before so I thought a simple soft-boiled duck egg would sit very happily on top of my grilled asparagus.  Eggs also represent Spring, rebirth and new beginnings so perfect for my first days of Spring brunch.

I really can’t call this a recipe but here is what I did:

Soft Boiled Duck Egg & Grilled Asparagus Brunch

serves 1, vegetarian

  • 1 bundle of fresh asparagus
  • 1 duck egg
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  • shaved manchego or parmesan
  • toasted brown bread (if you like)

Carefully put the duck egg into boiling water and then turn the heat down to medium high. Boil for 6 or 7 minutes depending on the size of your duck egg. Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus and put into the boiling water with the egg for 2 or 3 minutes.

Preheat your grill to hot and place the blanched asparagus on a sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, roll to coat evenly then put under the grill for a few minutes to brown slightly. Rolling to cook the other side half way through.

Toast your bread if using. After 6 or 7 minutes drain the water out of the pan and run the cold tap over the egg in the pan until cool enough to handle. Roll the egg gently on your counter to break the shell and peel the egg.

Transfer the asparagus to a plate with a slotted spoon, drizzle with little more olive oil, squeeze over some lemon juice and place the egg on top. With a knife cut into your egg to reveal the soft centre, season the egg with salt &  pepper and then finish off the dish by shaving over some manchego or parmesan. Butter your toast and serve on the side.

Enjoy the first days of Spring in pictures taken while walking the dog…

Rufus in the Spring…!!

Our lily at home….

 Ya es Primavera!!

14 Responses to “The First Days of Spring: Grilled Asparagus and Soft Boiled Duck Egg Brunch”

  1. Rita March 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    What a fantastic combo! Spring is still shy here, though temperatures are rising (at last!!!!). I adore asparagus but I’ve never had a duck egg: I’d be curious to try but they’re hard to find here unless you know a farmer… 😦

  2. tony ward March 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    La primavera es stupendo siempre en Espana, que memorias guapa !!!
    The asparagus and duck egg looks every bit as well as it tastes
    The hills around El Chorro and Campanillas must be full of these flowers now.Now where’s that Iberia number ??

  3. Susan March 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Breath of fresh air … this post! Can’t wait for fresh asparagus! Topped with your soft boiled egg, what a nice lunch!

  4. Brindusa@Cooking with my soul March 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    You are so fortunate to live in Spain. The weather is very nice there! All picture look so bright and colorful. And the asparagus…. I can’t wait to appear here too.
    Have a nice day.

  5. happywhennothungry March 23, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Wow this looks beautiful and perfect for spring! I love your photos too. They are gorgeous and your doggie is so cute too!

  6. Roxan March 23, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    Wow, look at that perfectly cooked soft boiled egg! I would mess up on that for sure. Beautiful beautiful photos!

  7. sarah March 23, 2011 at 6:15 am #

    Happy Spring! Lovely photos. Its still pretty grey around here but the cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom and soon asparagus will be showing up in the markets. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  8. Medeja March 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Duck egg? Is it much different from hen’s eggs?

  9. Christina March 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Oh this sounds like a wonderful spring brunch! I love the pictures of the beautiful flowers. We do not have any blooming yet, but I am looking forward to it! I love spring! 🙂

  10. Dani March 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Oh, asparagus, how I love it. We have a farm around the corner with a sign board out front, and the day they advertise their own asparagus is ready is what my family truly considers the first day of spring. We have a month yet to go… meanwhile I can live vicariously through your lovely photos.

  11. Dimah March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Great combo and looks yummy!
    Awesome pictures.

  12. Adriana March 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Que linda la primavera andaluza! I am intrigued now with duck eggs, but don’t think that’s an ingredient I have access to at this time. No fresh duck in Puerto Rico, that I know of!

  13. Clarkie @ Beloved Green March 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Love that you made an asparagus dish this week too! They are so good. Wish my weather was as nice as yours right now, we just had a snow storm yesterday.

  14. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie March 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Natalie, your food always gets me excited! I love the simplicity of this dish — the fresh green asparagus and the perfectly cooked soft egg. Yum!

    Cute doggie, BTW. :-p We have a Jack Russell Terrier. She’s very “busy.”

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