Ah, asparagus. The harbinger of spring. I'm always excited to see the neatly-tied bundles when the markets open for the season. After months of winter greens and apples, the bright green of the vegetable is a sight for my sore eyes. Call me fanciful but even the shape is like a mascot for the growing season to come: spear-like, eagerly poking its head out into the world!
As you might imagine, come April and my crisper drawers contain a fair bit of asparagus. I eat the tender new asparagus for its own sake; barely blanched or steamed, or even raw, shaved into a salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette and parmesan cheese. Later on in the season, I like them in soups and stir-fries.
New recipes are always welcome, though, and this recipe from David Chang called my name. His Momofuku restaurants and recipes have a cult following that I've never been able to appreciate, since they're known for being all about the pig.
The picture may look like plain old asparagus with an egg on top, but it has a secret ingredient: miso butter. I took one lick of the miso butter as I was mixing it and immediately wanted another. I mean, good salted butter is lovely to eat on top of most things by itself, but add miso to it and it transforms into a dangerously addictive umami-packed substance. I'm definitely adding it to my arsenal of delicious condiments - I bet it would taste wonderful on many other vegetables
This dish is decadent enough for a Sunday brunch and takes only minutes to prepare. If you want to scale it up, you can even poach the eggs ahead of time and store in cold water. Reheat them in some simmering water just before serving.
Recipe: David Chang's Asparagus with Miso Butter (Serves 2)