Nothing says spring like asparagus, those tender tips somehow staying intact as they push themselves up and out of the soil, growing tall into supple purple or green spears, noble and strong, almost too beautiful to eat.
And yet eat them we do. Last year our oldest son (5 years old at the time) begged me to buy asparagus during the winter from the grocery store aisle, and I refused, saying he’d have to wait until spring. When spring finally arrived, he ate asparagus for three meals a day, three days straight, until he was so sick of asparagus he wouldn’t eat another bite no matter how I prepared it.
This year, he’s pacing himself. We’re eating asparagus every other day, mostly for dinner. However, when you wrap that asparagus in bacon and top it with over-easy eggs, you have yourself a pretty good breakfast dish. And this next part should come as no surprise. Here at the Perkins’ household, we serve our bacon-wrapped asparagus and eggs on what? You guessed it. A bed of greens.
Start by getting your hands on some good asparagus. We have a small patch here at our farm, but not enough to sell. I recommend purchasing your asparagus from local growers Butch and Carol Zandstra if you live in Northwest Indiana. You can find their asparagus at Tysens or Kal-Bro in DeMotte.
Next, choose how you want to cook your asparagus: oven, skillet, or grill, Since it’s spring and gorgeous outside, I’m choosing the grill for this time around, so I’m going to start by firing up my quaint little charcoal grill.
You’re going to want to thoroughly wash the asparagus to make sure all the grains of sand are removed from the tips. Then trim the spears, both to remove the woody ends and to create a uniform length. Separate the spears into groups two or three.
After that, mince some garlic and mix it into a little olive oil, then brush this onto the asparagus spears.
Now for the bacon—yum! Grab a slice of bacon (I got mine from Yesteryears Meat Market in DeMotte) and wrap it around the asparagus spears, starting at the bottom of the spears and working your way to just below the tips. If you want to make sure the bacon stays wrapped around the asparagus, you can secure it with toothpicks.
Assuming the grill’s ready to go, let’s get those bacon-wrapped spears cooking! On my charcoal grill, this happens pretty quickly. You may need place tinfoil over the grate to make sure the bacon has enough time to cook all the way through–it all depends on your grill–and you’ll need to flip the bacon-wrapped asparagus once during the grilling process.
Meanwhile, get your greens ready by placing about 2 cups of trimmed baby spinach on each plate.
Then, when the asparagus has about 5 minutes left on the grill, heat up your skillet or griddle. (If you have an electric griddle, you can probably cook all the eggs at once, depending on how many people you’re serving.) Cook the eggs over-easy—the runny yolks serves as the “dressing” for this salad.
Top each bed of greens with two bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles, and two over-easy eggs over the asparagus. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper, and eat immediately while it’s hot!
Photos and Food Styling: Anne Kingma