Friday, March 21, 2008

Asparagus with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Ciabatta

This springtime recipe is the latest from our March Recipe Challenge, and makes a lovely brunch dish for Easter. Use fresh, slender asparagus for the best flavor. You can grill or broil the asparagus - just make sure not to overcook it. Serves 4 (and you can easily double the recipe).

1 lb Fresh asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
4 Tbs Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Large eggs
1 Plain ciabatta loaf (or other similar bread)
2 Large garlic cloves
Mesclun greens (or other tender spring lettuces)

Place the asparagus in a resealable plastic bag with 2 tablespoons of Signolia's Balsamic Vinaigrette, seal and shake to coat the asparagus. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Soft-boil the eggs by placing in a saucepan and covering with cold water, bringing the water to a boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggs carefully and set aside to cool. Slice the ciabatta or other bread into 8 thick diagonal slices, then carefully toast on the grill or under the broiler for about a minute or until lightly charred (be careful not to burn!). Carefully remove from heat and rub each slice well with the garlic cloves, then set the bread aside.

Grill or broil the asparagus for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning as needed and basting with the vinaigrette from the marinating bag, until the asparagus is lightly seared and just tender (this goes faster for thin young spears and takes longer for thicker spears). Remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm.

Place 2 slices of bread on each of 4 plates, and top bread with asparagus spears. Drizzle the bread and asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Signolia's Vinaigrette. Once the eggs are slightly cooled, shell them. Break the warm eggs open and place one on each plate overlapping the bread, then add some mesclun on the side of each plate and serve.

Zestfully yours,

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