Recipe: Asparagus Milanese
Asparagus are in season right through Spring so this is the time to get the freshest, juiciest Aussie grown beauties at the very best price. This dish, originating in Italy was historically a simple celebration of Spring. That’s because asparagus are one of the first vegetables to break through the soil after Winter and eggs of course have always been a symbol of new beginnings.
This dish has a satisfying succulence and lip-smacking flavour that lifts the humble asparagus to the next level. It’s also totally straight-forward and requires zero kitchen expertise to pull it off! Thanks to the protein from the eggs, this is a meal in itself or can be served as a side dish with roasted or barbequed lamb, beef or fish.
5 fast facts about asparagus
- Asparagus is a member of the lily family, related to leeks, onions and garlic.
- Asparagus benefits - contains no fat or cholesterol and is packed with fibre and phytonutrients so this is one vegetable that you should probably be putting on your plate more often!
- White asparagus is the same species as the green one, but has not been exposed to sunlight. The spears are covered in soil and harvested below the surface.
- Historically, asparagus was believed to be an aphrodisiac because of its shape.
- ‘Asparagus wee’ is that uniquely sulfurous odour that arises in urine after you’ve eaten asparagus, owing to the asparagusic acid content. Totally harmless of course!
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 4 slices bread made into breadcrumbs (or 1 cup store-bought breadcrumbs)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and toast the breadcrumbs until golden.
- Chop the parsley and sprinkle onto the serving plate (reserve a little chopped parsley for the top garnish).
- Chop the hard boiled eggs and season with salt and pepper.
- Poach the asparagus in salted water until tender. Rinse under cold water.
- Transfer the cooked asparagus to the serving plate and sprinkle with a little olive oil.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and egg, spoon over the asparagus. (If mixed beforehand the breadcrumbs will go soggy).
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and remaining parsley over the top of the dish before serving.