This past weekend felt like spring. I’m not saying that because of Daylight Savings Time which is always a bit of a jab, but because you could smell it in the air. The sun was out, we walked around our neighbourhood, bought a record from the new East Van Flea, and I took pictures of the crocuses on our lawn. But because this is Vancouver in the springtime, the nice days were short-lived. Soon enough the rains came back and out came the umbrella and rain boots….again.
But there was a sure sign of spring at the markets: asparagus. Nothing says “Hello Springtime!” like a lean bunch of asparagus. I hate to admit that this lovely bunch came from Mexico, but after days of rain, I became easily swayed. If Mother Nature couldn’t bring me sunshine, then I was going to have to get my fill of spring one way or the other. So I bought the asparagus – and some purple tulips too, because tulips are especially lovely for conquering grey days.
When it comes to asparagus prep, I was always on team snap, but lately I’ve heard that cutting works best and leaves less waste, so that’s what I did here and it worked beautifully. Just chop off the woody ends and prepare as usual. Easy!
I didn’t have a plan set out for the asparagus, so I decided to do as I always do and roast them. When I found some pancetta in the fridge, my whole meal came into place. Bacon, asparagus and poached eggs. A simple plan that works deliciously for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
To get the meal going, I roasted the spears with the pancetta while I got my water boiling and ready for poaching. I’ve always used this brilliant method for doing my eggs and I suggest you do the same. But if you want to fry up an egg sunny side up or over easy, that would be lovely too. The roasting takes 10 minutes to get the asparagus tender-crisp and the pancetta to crispy. Divide onto two plates, plop a couple eggs on top and you’ve got a tasty little meal without much effort at all. Now you can just sit back and wait for spring to come into full effect. C’mon, I’m waiting.
In other news, I was recently interviewed by two different websites. The first is Design Feaster and you can check out my interview here. The second interview was with Recipes.ca and you can read it here and check out my recipe for Bold Green Beans.
roasted asparagus with pancetta & eggs
1 bunch asparagus
6 slices of pancetta
1 t olive oil
kosher salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400F.
Wash asparagus under cold water, giving them a soak to remove any grit. Slice off the tough ends with a knife. Shake dry and place on a baking tray, giving each stalk a bit of space. Tear the slices of pancetta and scatter over top. Give everything a light drizzle of olive oil and a good grind of black pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring water to the boil and poach your eggs (this is my favourite method) until they’ve reached their appropriate done-ness (about 3-4 minutes for a good runny egg). Or fry an egg, leaving it sunny side up.
Divide asparagus and pancetta over two plates and place two eggs over top. Sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper and serve.
Anytime? Like right now? because that would be great. Because this looks delicious and I am STARVING.
I bought asparagus also, even though they were from Mexico…they were just so skinny and tender! I couldn’t help myself.
This looks AMAZING, and seems simple, I’ll let you know when I try it!
Hooray for asparagus! It’s so exciting to find such a clear sign of spring at the grocery store. We’ve only had one bunch so far–but we roasted it almost exactly like this. 🙂
I love everything about this dish! I remember the first time I ate asparagus, my mom boiled it to death so I was chewing on a limp noodle-like asparagus that was all thready and gummy and tasteless. Yuck. It took me years before I could give asparagus another chance. When prepared well however, asparagus can be delicious…and of course with pancetta!! I’ve been adding fried bacon to my brussel sprouts lately and I can say without a doubt that I’ll be trying it with asparagus too.
What a lovely meal combining three of my very favorite things! It’s not looking anything like spring around here (what with the two foot dump of snow we just received), but I can certainly get down with a spring-like meal!
Thanks Sarah 🙂
Joanne, I know the urge well!
Eileen, roasting asparagus is such a great way to cook it. Agreed about it feeling like spring!
I didn’t grow up eating asparagus, Joanne. I think the first time I had it was in university and then when I told my mom about how much I loved it, she started to make it all the time! But a boiled to death stalk would be awful, a horrible turn off.
Sorry about all that snow, Amanda, but any sign of spring is a good one 🙂
This looks lovely! I can almost taste the salty pancetta with the tender asparagus! I’m ready for spring, too. Big time.
Nicole, we had a totally spring like day today – until the wicked winds flew by! I can’t wait!!
This is my favorite food combination… I could eat this everyday! Yummy and yay spring!
What’s the new “East Van Flea” BTW?
Just made this for Easter bring, minus the meat, plus some roasted grape tomatoes. Perfectly delicious.
I poached the eggs trying something I saw on a chef show:
Saran wrap in a cup, pushed down, drop the egg in and twist the wrap to seal it, leaving the egg in a bubble at the bottom, I tied the wrap in a knot like a balloon knot. 3 minutes in a easy boil, perfect!
What a nice treat! I love poached eggs too.
Thanks Hag! As for the east van flea, there is a new one coming up this month: http://www.facebook.com/eastsideflea
Glad you enjoyed this, Jen! I’m always nervous about cooking plastic like saran wrap. But it sounds pretty fool proof!