Another great dish we found in Ottolenghi’s “Plenty” is this delightful and simple recipe for asparagus with eggs and capers. He calls it an “asparagus mimosa” in the book.
We actually had this same dish a couple of months ago at the stylish and trendy Contigo, a Catalan restaurant in the Noe Valley district here in San Francisco. Their food is all tapas-style and gorgeous. At Contigo, the dish is tweaked with the addition of tuna prosciutto, something I had never seen before. It resembled bonito flakes, those dried fish shavings used in dashi broth in Japanese cooking. It was delicious and I promised myself that I would make it at home but forgot with the craziness of our kitchen remodel.
Ottolenghi’s book arrived just before the end of asparagus season. Apparently Ottolengi himself came by, too. Turns out that he was the guest of honor at a special dinner at Contigo on July 12th. Bummer! Besides missing the chef wizard, we a great special menu! Oh well, there’s always next time.
asparagus with hardboiled egg and capers
3 lbs asparagus spears, woody parts at bottom discarded
3 organic eggs
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp capers with some of the brine
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil, reduce temperature to medium low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Turn temperature off. Let eggs sit in hot water for 4 minutes. Drain water and let eggs cool down to room temperature. Grate or chop fine.
Add ½ of the capers, some of the brine and olive oil to a bowl. Crush capers a bit with the help of a spoon. Set aside.
Add asparagus to a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Arrange asparagus on a serving platter and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to coat. Add crushed caper sauce, capers and grated eggs. For cuteness leave tips of asparagus clear of dressing.