Here is one of Chef’s Andrew Swallow’s springtime favorites from his cookbook Mixt Salads. He tells us:
When I think of asparagus, I think of Penwater, a small town on the northern peninsula of Michigan where I grew up eating asparagus in the springtime. Here I’d like to share one of my childhood memories but with a spin on it: salty pancetta, rich and creamy truffle, and egg marinated with the earthy sweetness of asparagus.
Penwater: Grilled Asparagus and Six-Minute Egg (serves 4)
1 egg yolk
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp aged sherry vinegar
1 ½ tsp chopped fresh truffle
sal t& freshly ground pepper
16 asparagus spears
8 ½ inch thick strips pancetta
4 1-inch thick slices brioche bread
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp salt
4 organic eggs
Aioli: place egg yolk in a non stainless steel bowl. While whisking, slowly add oil in a stream until thickened. Add vinegar and truffle. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Preheat grill to medium. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Cut off bottoms of asparagus. Wrap a strip of pancetta around the middle of a pair of spears. Grill wrapped asparagus bundles for 6-8 min. until pancetta is crispy.
Using a 2.5” ring mold, cut out the middle of each brioche slice. Brush both sides with butter and season with salt. Grill the bread until grill marks appear on each side.
Cook the eggs for 6 min. in boiling water and then place in ice bath to cool. Peel the eggs and cut in half, not letting the yolk fall out.
Place 2 slices of grilled bread on each of 4 serving plates. Top with truffle aioli. Place 2 bunches of asparagus on each piece of bread and top with half an egg.