28 September 2012

Bookshelf: Asparagus Mimosa, from Ottolenghi’s Plenty

If you have read this you will know that asparagus has arrived.  I just cannot get enough of it.  I anticipate it’s arrival, become almost giddy when it does get here and enjoy it as much as I can until it leaves us for another year.  It just wouldn’t be the same if we were able to get our mitts on it all year round.  It would lose its allure, there would be no anticipation of those first delectable green spears, no excitement at their first appearance heralding lighter, sunnier days, BBQs, chilled glasses of rose.  It is one of the joys of working with mother nature and the seasons. Mother does after all always know best.

I had spied this take on asparagus in Plenty last year and didn’t quite get around to it.  Just a quick browse and again so inspired....so many other recipes that I want to try and that’s before we even get to his new book just hitting the shelves, Jerusalem.  I can attest that Jerusalem doesn’t disappoint. So there is likely a little of an Ottolenghi phase heading this way very soon. If you are looking for inspiring cooking I cannot recommend any Ottolenghi book enough, he really is just a genius when it comes to flavours, new or complex or incredibly simple like this asparagus Mimosa, best made with the tender spears that are first to make an appearance.

Asparagus Mimosa, from Ottolenghi’s Plenty


Serves 4 as a starter

2 eggs
2 bunches asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil, I used Moon Over Martinborough
2 tsp capers, drained
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper


Place the the eggs in a pot of boiling water and simmer for 9 minutes.  After 9 minutes remove the eggs from the pot and place them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to stop them cooking.  Remove from the water and allow them to cool completely.  Once cool peel the eggs and grate them on a coarse grater.

To prepare the asparagus gently bend the stems until the woodier bottom breaks off.  Being clever little spears they will break at exactly the right place.  Pop the asparagus in to a pot of salted boiling water and and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the spears.

Drain the asparagus and divide between 4 bowls.  Drizzle with olive oil, scatter over the capers and season with salt and pepper.  Lastly top with the grated egg,  leaving the glistening green tips visible.


This is simplicity at its best.  Tender green asparagus, perfectly hard boiled egg and a sharp briny tang from the capers.  For me the perfect Spring breakfast, brunch or lunch.

If you like this you might like First Spring Asparagus



  1. Lovely - and as you say simple too. Love the colours in the photo.

    1. Thanks Lesley, so simple but just so wonderful :)

  2. Can beat simplicity, especially when it comes to asparagus. There's new pickings in the garden which I'm going to enjoy tonight :o)

    1. Very envious of homegrown...but at least in abundance at the shops :)

  3. I love this asparagus mimosa, must make some this season, I look forward to hearing about the new book as you cook from it.

    1. Oh yes....likely to be a few more from Jerusalem....can highly recommend it :)

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