Today I caught up on a handful of Spilled Milk podcasts at work and listened to a perfectly timed topic: spouseless eating. Tonight my husband (and it feels weird to finally call Dave that) had his book club meeting (yes, our group of guy friends was jealous of our girls’ book club and started their own) so I was on on my own for dinner. Spouseless eating usually means to me epic amounts of braised kale and spaghetti (or a trip to McDs if you are Dave) but since it is springtime at the market it is time for epic amounts of asparagus. I picked up two bunches yesterday at the market with plans to make this salad but I’ve been flipping through this book the last few nights and remember a recipe that featured asparagus. And it was especially perfect for a dave-less night because it called for anchovies.
This was a recipe that came together in about 20 minutes simply because I was well stocked with ingredients, even the anchovy, which I will admit, that I’ve never used before and just picked up a tin months ago on a whim from Trader Joes. I’m glad I opened them up because the one filet added that can’t-put-your-finger-on-it-flavor to the breadcrumbs. Even though I love to cook for Dave, spouseless eating nights aren’t so bad for me.
Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Fried Eggs and Anchovy Bread Crumbs
Recipe adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
Serves 2 as an appetizer or side dish, or just 1 for a quick dinner
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs (I pulsed from one slice of wheat bread in my food processor)
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and anchovy and cook until the bread crumbs are browned and toasted, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the minced garlic and a large pinch of slat and cook until fragrant (1-2 mins longer). Add the lemon zest, then transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
Wipe out the same pan with some paper towel and return to the burner. Add another tablespoon of oil and then add the asparagus, some salt and pepper. Toss in a little water and cover and cook, stirring and shaking the pan occasionally under the asparagus is tender, 5-6 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate and top with the bread crumbs.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the eggs until the jet set but the yolks are runny, 2-3 minutes. Slide the eggs on top of the asparagus and dig in.