Recently I was hosting a dinner party and struggling with the usual dilemmas; I wanted the food to be fresh and delicious but I also wanted to stay out of the kitchen. So I premade all the sides and made sure they could be served at room temperature.
Same for the appetizer – I served delicate, seasonal asparagus topped with grated egg. This easy idea makes a simple dish look lovely and sophisticated but does not overwhelm flavours.
All you need to do is boil an egg (or two). Once cooled and grated, your hard boiled egg (not over cooked and not with a green rimmed yolk pls) looks almost weightless and feathery, adding a wonderful tender texture to vegetables, salads or open-face sandwiches.
2 large, room-temperature eggs
Fresh asparagus (about 5 stalks per person)
Buy the freshest asparagus you can find – about 5 pieces per person. Gently bend each stalk until it naturally snaps about two-thirds of the way down to remove any woody ends. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add a few generous pinches salt. Add the asparagus and cook for two to three minutes or until the stalks are tender but firm. Drain, run under cold water, dry and set aside.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil then add 2 large, room-temperature eggs (I let my eggs rest in a bowl of warm water until the pot has boiled). After nine minutes, remove and place eggs into a bowl of cold water for a couple minutes. Peel and grate (same size as you normally grate cheese).
Toss asparagus with your best olive oil, fresh pepper and sprinkle with sea salt, then top with the grated egg. Serve. (The egg can be grated in advance and kept aside in a sealed container.)