Particularly during the week, I'm often on my own for lunch and sometimes breakfast as well. And while I don't have a lot of time to putter with a special meal for either, I'm often up for the challenge of grabbing a few items and making something absolutely yummy. Today's focus is just such a meal.
This breakfast-brunch-lunch meal consists primarily of three items: a slice of bread, a handful of asparagus spears, and an egg. Quick prep techniques for it all means there's a meal about 15 minutes away. A few extra tasty helpers -- like Spanish olive oil and smoked paprika -- mean it gets to the table while being simply satisfying.
I like to make this during spring and summer, when asparagus is easily attainable and cooks quickly. I'm also a fan of just having a late morning brunch sometimes during the week as a bit of a treat. I add a piece of fruit and a mug or two of coffee and it feels decadent, even if it takes only a few minutes to make and enjoy.
This recipe can be multiplied, but once you get to 4 eggs, I recommend using more traditional methods for poaching. This microwave method is perfect for 1-2 eggs and can be squeezed to 3, but anything over 4 and you start making this a time-intensive process that a pan of boiling water will make much quicker work of. Other than that, feel free to scale things up as is and enjoy!
- 2 tsp. Spanish olive oil
- 6-8 fresh asparagus spears
- Pinch coarse salt
- Pinch black pepper
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1 slice sourdough bread
- Pinch smoked paprika
- 1 T. sliced green onions
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium nonstick pan. Add the asparagus spears (remove any woody bits of stem first) and allow the asparagus to sauté until crisp-tender, about 8-10 minutes. About halfway through cooking, season with salt and pepper.
While the asparagus cooks, fill a microwave-safe mug or small bowl with ⅓ cup water and a splash of vinegar.
Gently crack the egg into the mug or bowl, making sure it’s covered in water. Be sure to prick the egg yolk with a fork or toothpick to prevent any explosions.
Cover your mug or bowl with a small microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for one minute. The egg white should be set but the yolk still runny. If the egg white is still runny, keep microwaving in 10 second increments until you’re satisfied with the level of doneness.
To serve, place a slice of sourdough bread onto a serving plate. Arrange the sautéed asparagus over the bread, making sure to drizzle the seasoned olive oil generously over the bread. Using a slotted spoon, remove the poached egg from the mug or bowl and slide it on top of the slice of bread and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Sprinkle green onions over the top of it all and serve immediately.
- Yields: 1 serving
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes