Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Breadcrumbs, Pine Nuts, and Runny Eggs is one delicious mouthful and proof positive that spring food doesn’t have to mean wimpy food! A quick and easy spring side dish that takes roasted asparagus to the next level.
Full disclosure ~ those crispy breadcrumbs? They’re super seasoned with garlic, herbs, butter, and…wait for it…anchovies. I wanted to get that out right at the start so if you want to run away, now’s your moment. But if you stay you’re so smart, because we all really need to get over the whole anchovy hating thing. Don’t think of them as little fish, think of them as little flavor bombs. They dissolve into whatever you’re cooking and leave you with a wonderful briny depth of flavor.
People will think you’re a genius, when it’s really just the anchovies :)
I use ready made seasoned croutons, the good ones that come in the cellophane bag, for my breadcrumbs…I blitz them in the food processor to make easy and perfectly flavored crumbs ready to mix with the anchovies. They get sauteed in butter (along with the pine nuts) for a double toasting that makes them unbelievable. You’re going to want to sprinkle these on everything.
Oh and btw, do you see those perfect jammy soft boiled eggs? Wanna know the secret?
I bet you do, and here it is, I tested the method from Bon Appétit and made a couple of adjustments ~
- Start with room temperature eggs, I use size large. I found if I used cold eggs they had a tendency to crack from the sudden change in temperature.
- Put enough water to cover the eggs in a pan and bring to a rolling boil (don’t put the eggs in yet!)
- Use a spoon to gently set each egg into the boiling water.
- Set the time for 6 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the eggs and plunge into cold tap water for a few minutes to cool them down.
- Drain the water from the bowl and give the bowl a vigorous shaking to bash the eggs against each other ~ this will shatter the shells and make them super easy to peel.
- You’re welcome.
A quick and delicious spring side dish that takes roasted asparagus to the next level!
- 1 cup home style seasoned garlic croutons (I love the premium crusty ones)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 anchovies
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- large handful of rinsed basil leaves
- a glug of olive oil
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Put the croutons in a small food processor and pulse until they become coarse crumbs. Pulse in the anchovies. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the crumbs, along with the pine nuts, until they turn golden. Be sure to stir almost constantly, you don't want anything to burn. Set aside.
- Put the basil in a small food processor and blitz with enough olive oil to form a loose sauce. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the trimmed asparagus with the oil, garlic, and a little salt and pepper, and arrange on a baking tray in a single layer. Make sure your oven is at temperature, and roast for 10 minutes. If your stalks are very thick you might need a bit more time, but don't over cook.
- Arrange half of the crumbs on a platter and place the asparagus on top. Top with the rest of the crumbs, and a drizzle of the basil sauce. Serve asap.
Make it your own ~
- Make it on the grill ~ grill the asparagus on your outdoor grill for extra flavor. Fatter stalks work best for this, or you can use a grill basket made for grilling vegetables.
- Make it gluten free ~ omit the breadcrumbs and use the toasted pine nuts as your garnish.
- Make it with broccoli. Slice the broccoli into lengthwise strips, with part of the stalk, too.
- Make it easier ~ use store bought pesto, thinned with a little olive oil if necessary to form a loose sauce.
Don’t forget to pin this Roasted Asparagus
other ways to enjoy spring asparagus ~
- CHOPPED ASPARAGUS SALAD
- FRESH ASPARAGUS BLENDER SOUP
- ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH MIMOSA VINAIGRETTE
- ASPARAGUS RISOTTO