This meal of roasted asparagus with hollandaise sauce and a fried egg is one of my favorite dishes to whip up when I want a special breakfast or a quick and easy lunch. It’s simple, but flavorful, and it highlights a favorite spring crop.
One of the first crops to greet us in the spring is asparagus, which can be enjoyed any multitude of ways.
Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest ways to transform these firm, woodsy stalks into tender spears you’ll enjoy.
A little drizzle of olive oil or spritz of avocado spray, along with a little salt and pepper, then off they go into a hot oven to bake for anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes. The thinner your asparagus spears are, the quicker they’ll bake through until tender.
I like to cook my asparagus until it’s tender, but still a bit al dente with a nice bite.
I cook the prosciutto at the same time, but the prosciutto will need to be taken out of the oven sooner than the asparagus as it will crisp up really quickly.
If you’ve never cooked prosciutto until it’s crispy, you’ve been missing out. It’s much like crispy bacon, but even better when you’re using some quality prosciutto slices. It’s also thinner and works much better than bacon as an ingredient to be assembled into a dish like this.
As for the fried egg, you’ll just want to make sure you cook the egg until the edges and whites are set, but the yolk is still unstable and has a good wobble. That way, you’ll get a nice runny yolk, which is the way this dish is intended to be constructed.
One of my tricks for getting a perfect runny yolk is to warm some olive oil in a pan before adding the fried egg. Then, while the egg’s edges and whites are cooking over medium low heat, I tip the pan so that I can gather the hot oil with a spoon and then pour it all over the top of the egg.
This helps set the egg quickly, but not enough to cook the yolk completely. At that point, a sharp-edged spatula is your friend in the kitchen and can help you carefully transfer the perfectly fried egg on top of your asparagus and crispy prosciutto.
The hollandaise sauce, a French mother sauce, is quickly brought together with the help of a blender. The only real tip to keep in mind when making the hollandaise is to keep the blender running until you’ve achieved the consistency that you desire. The more you blend, the thicker the sauce will be.
This asparagus with hollandaise sauce recipe is one of those simple lunches that is so quintessentially French. It highlights a seasonal crop, includes an egg and a fabulous sauce.
What I love most about this dish are the different textures you get: a tender crunch from the roasted asparagus, the 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. 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).
- for the asparagus and egg
- handful of fresh asparagus stalks (try to pick asparagus stalks on the thicker side)
- salt and pepper to season with
- good olive oil to drizzle
- 1 large slice of prosciutto
- 1 large egg
- for the hollandaise sauce
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature (important)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tsp to 1 tbsp, freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and dry your asparagus. Cut the bottom 1/3 portion of the asparagus off and toss the bottoms. Spread the asparagus out on a baking sheet (leaving one area empty for the prosciutto) and drizzle with good olive oil or cover in avocado spray. Season with a pinch of salt. Place the prosciutto slice on the empty side of the baking sheet. Temporarily set aside before baking.
- Create your hollandaise sauce by adding in all the sauce ingredients into a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds or until it's achieved the consistency you like. Then let it rest until ready to use. The sauce will slightly thicken as it rests too.
- Place the asparagus and prosciutto in your oven on the second highest rack. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender but still firm. Pull the prosciutto out of the oven when it's crisp and golden brown. If you're using something like a toaster oven, the prosciutto will get ready fairly quickly so keep your eye on it. 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.
- Add some olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, drop in your egg and reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt and pepper on the egg. Let it continue to cook over low heat while you spoon some of the hot oil in the pan over the entire egg. Once the edges and whites of the egg are cooked but the yolk center still has a good wobble, remove the egg from the heat.
- To assemble, transfer the asparagus to your plate. Place the prosciutto on the bed of asparagus, top with the fried egg and the hollandaise sauce.
recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa