Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

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Living in Southern California, I wholeheartedly admit that I’ve been spoiled by gorgeous beaches and perfect weather. There was a time, when I was in college, that I thought New York City was fabulous and destined for me. As much as I love being close to the beach and seeing the ocean everyday, I’m not your typical Californian in the sense that I don’t like to spend my weekend tanning nor do I partake in the whole bohemian maxi dress, flip-flops everyday look; my go-to outfit always includes a white button-down and sleek blazer. I get incredibly disheartened when I don’t have the opportunity to enjoy a white Christmas in the mountains, and end up drinking my hot cocoa in 70 degree weather. In short, I have what I feel is a predisposition for East Coast living. However, I did live in New York City after college, and while I thoroughly love the city’s food and fashion scene, my heart missed the slower pace and sense of calm California always has.

asparagus with hollandaise sauce

I’m telling you all this to share with you just how much I love Southern California, and why, since leaving New York, have never considered living anywhere north of Santa Barbara. But, you see, I was watching Barefoot Contessa like I always do (some people do daily meditation, I watch Ina Garten), and she was filming her show in California, Northern California to be exact. She was renting a home in Napa Valley, and she and Jeffrey were picnicking in vineyards, eating at Tyler Florence’s place in Mill Valley, and shopping at the San Francisco ferry market. And watching Ina live it up in Northern California planted a little seed of “what if…” in my head. What if I drove through winding grape vines on my way to the weekend farmer’s market? What if I drank my coffee and read the paper at a charming little coffee shop, minutes away from my home nestled among the Redwoods? And the bonus would be my best friend would live nearby and I’d get to see her just as much as I saw her when we lived in the same dorm suite. Yes, life up north would suit me just fine, I think. It also doesn’t hurt that Ina made an incredibly appetizing array of dishes while she was there, including this asparagus with hollandaise sauce. 

asparagus with hollandaise sauce

This is one of those simple lunches that is so quintessentially French. I mean, it’s got an egg in it so…enough said. What I love about this dish are the different textures you get: a tender crunch from the roasted asparagus, the creaminess/butteriness from the runny yolk, and the crispiness from the slices of roasted prosciutto. And don’t get me started on the various flavors! The saltiness of the prosciutto and citrus-y taste of the hollandaise work so well in this dish. On a side note, one trick that I learned from watching this episode of Barefoot Contessa was something Tyler Florence actually shared with Ina, which is to avoid seasoning with pepper when you’re broiling something. Instead, sprinkle with pepper once it’s come out of the oven. Even though we’re technically not broiling the asparagus, you are roasting it on an upper rack at a somewhat high temperature (400°F). By sprinkling pepper after it’s come out of the oven, you’re eliminating the chance of the pepper tasting bitter. I can attest to this as I have totally noticed that pepper does taste bitter when it’s on something that’s been broiled. Overall, I think you will love this dish. It’s balanced with a bit of the sensible (protein from the egg), with a bit of necessity (dose of veggies from the asparagus), and a bit of indulgence (from the prosciutto and hollandaise sauce). 

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Yield: 1

Ingredients

  • for the asparagus and egg
  • 1/3 lb to 1/2 . fresh asparagus, try to pick pretty thick stalks, not too thin
  • salt and pepper to season with
  • good olive oil to drizzle
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 large egg
  • !
  • for the hollandaise sauce
  • 1 large egg yolk, very important!, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • tbsp almost 1 freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and dry your asparagus. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin from the bottom half of asparagus. Cut the bottom 1/3 portion of the asparagus off and toss the bottoms. Spread the asparagus out on a baking sheet and drizzle with good olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Temporarily set aside before baking.
  2. Create your hollandaise sauce by adding in all the sauce ingredients into a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds. Then let it rest until ready to use. The sauce will slightly thicken as it rests.
  3. Add some olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, drop in your egg and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt and pepper on the egg. Let it continue to cook over low heat while you roast your asparagus.
  4. Place the asparagus in your oven on the second highest rack. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender but still firm. Remove the asparagus from the oven and let it rest on the baking sheet to stay warm. Sprinkle a pinch of pepper over the asparagus. Check on your egg, it should be ready about now. The edges of the egg white should be slightly golden brown and the entire white set. Turn off the heat and let the egg rest in the pan until ready to assemble.
  5. Put the prosciutto on a baking sheet and place in the oven where the asparagus once was. Broil at 450°F for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it. Pull out when prosciutto is nice and crispy.
  6. To assemble, transfer the asparagus to your plate. Place the prosciutto on the bed of asparagus, then pour some of the hollandaise sauce over it. Top with the fried egg.

15 thoughts on “Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce”

  1. As a massive brunch enthusiast – this is definitely a post I endorse Beeta. Very jealous of all the beautiful weather your having in California right now too…and all the beautiful shots of it you’re sharing. Makes going into winter here in Australia that much harder! Xx

    Reply
    • Thank you, Thalia!! I always forget you guys are experiencing opposite seasons than us! Well, don’t feel too bad as this week has been all sorts of gloomy in California so you’re not alone! At least cooler temperatures mean more baking inside the home! 🙂 XO

      Reply
  2. I could eat hollandaise by the bucket full (although my heart may stop in the process). This is such a beautiful dish – it almost reminds me of a fancier, California-style eggs benedict. Face it girl, that west coast-ness is in your blood 🙂

    Reply
    • Hollandaise is toooo good 😉 And I agree, I have accepted that the west coast is truly in my blood…you know, you can take the girl out of California but you can’t take the California out of the girl! 😉

      Reply
  3. This looks like a truly magical breakfast. And living in California sounds wonderful! Whenever I visit, I fall in love with the place all over again. The friendly people, the sunshine, the gorgeous beaches and the incredible food – a slice of heaven!

    Reply
  4. Beeta, gorgeous dish! I too love Ina, and watch her shows almost every day! As much as I enjoyed California (I lived in LA for a few months, and traveled a few times to SF, Napa and Redwood National park), I still prefer to live up north, where we get to have snow-white Christmas and hibernate. 🙂

    Reply
  5. This hollandaise sauce sounds amazing, especially with that asparagus!You make living in Northern California sound very appealing to me, too, now you have me thinking about living up there!

    Reply

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