Roasted Asparagus with Grated Egg, Meyer Lemon and Capers
When asparagus season hits each spring, roasting is my fail safe approach for cooking it. The method is so easy, a grade schooler could do it. And they have, in cooking classes I’ve taught over the years. I’ve seen kids of every age gobble the spears right out of the roasting pan as if they were licorice sticks. This recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Grated Egg takes that elementary approach and elevates it just a notch, adding in Lemon and Capers for good measure.
Of course, there are myriad ways to dress up roasted asparagus, from showering it with Parmesan to serving it with a classic Hollandaise. The addition of hard cooked egg is a trick I learned from my friend Cheryl Sternman Rule, who features the combo in her cookbook Ripe. It’s a satisfying mix, which I’ve tweaked ever-so-slightly by using a grated rather than diced egg. I also like to toss a few tablespoons of capers onto the sheet pan when the asparagus is nearly done. They get a pleasing crisp along the way.
The only trick to working with asparagus is to trim off the woody ends. You can peel the bottom of each stalk until you reach the tender center, or go the completely unfussy route by simply snapping off ends. Do this by feel, gently bending each spear toward the bottom until you find the sweet spot where it breaks off with ease.
There is no need to get a bowl dirty while prepping the asparagus. Just roll the spears in olive oil and lemon juice right in the roasting pan. Use a conventional lemon if tracking down a Meyer will make this recipe even the slightest bit effortful. It’s meant to be a breeze. And if you want to skip the oven altogether, I’ve found a typical bunch of asparagus fits perfectly in my toaster oven, which heats up quicker and uses less energy.
A Nutritious Choice
As for nutrition, like every vegetable, asparagus has loads of good stuff to offer, all at just 20 calories per half cup. It provides prebiotic fiber, which means it’s good for the gut, too. You might want to check out this rundown on the upsides of asparagus written by registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.
If you like Roasted Asparagus with Shaved Egg, you might like:
Roasted Asparagus with Grated Egg, Lemon, and Crispy Capers
- 1 egg
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- Zest and juice of 1 small Meyer lemon (or conventional lemon)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Fleur de sel (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Put egg in a small pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and set a timer for 11 minutes. When the timer dings, transfer the egg to a small bowl of ice water.
While the egg cooks and chills, prep the asparagus. Snap the woody ends off the bottom of the asparagus spears and discard. Lay asparagus on a baking sheet. Zest the lemon over the asparagus. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice and drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus. Toss to coat. Season with several cracks of black pepper and a few pinches of salt.
Roast the asparagus for 5 minutes. Scatter the capers over the asparagus and continue to roast until the asparagus is just tender with a little firmness to the bite (another 3 to 5 minutes). The time will vary depending on the thickness of the spears. Cutting a small piece off the bottom of a stalk is one sure way to test for doneness, keeping in mind it will continue to cook a little after it's out of the oven.
Transfer the asparagus and capers to a serving plate. Finish with pinch of fleur-de-sel or other salt to taste. Peel the egg and use the large holes of a box grater to grate it over the center of the center of the spears. Serve warm.