November 17, 2011

Asparagus mimosa

I have packed almost all of my cookbooks now, as we only have a couple of more weeks before we move into our new home. The last books standing in my bookshelf are the ones I love browsing the most, and two of them happen to be Yotam Ottolenghi's.

Yotam's recipe for asparagus mimosa suits my food philosophy perfectly. I'm all about simple flavours, I'm sure you know that by now. I don't really enjoy fiddly recipes, and I like to celebrate the seasonal produce as it is, embracing the flavours of the ingredients without messing about too much. Sure I enjoy cooking with somewhat exotic ingredients every now and then, but mostly my food is pretty straight forward.

This simple, humble asparagus mimosa is a celebration of pure flavours. The bright green asparagus spears are covered under a blanket of egg with only a couple of other ingredients to boost the flavours. It was a perfect dish on a rainy spring day.

Asparagus mimosa
(serves 2-4)
(recipe inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi)

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends cut off
2 eggs (free-range, organic)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
sherry vinegar, optional

1. Hard-boil the eggs (7 minutes). Leave to cool completely before grating or shredding. I have a nifty little grater, one of those mouli-type ones, that I like using for this. Set the eggs aside. 

2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and the asparagus. Cook for a few minutes, tossing the spears every now and then. Season with salt and pepper and add a small splash of vinegar, if you wish (this can colour the asparagus slightly, so leave it out if you wish to keep them bright green). Be careful not to over-cook the asparagus, it's quite nice with a bit of crunch served with a soft grated egg.