Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread

April 16, 2014

If you're like us, you look to the seasons for what to cook. Get to the market, and we'll show you what to do with your haul.

Today: Asparagus for the spring nights when you crave comfort, fast. 

Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread from Food52

Shop the Story

My sincerest hope is that because it's just barely spring -- since the trees are not fully green and we’ve only just commenced ramp watch 2014 -- you have not yet tired of asparagus and eggs. Because if I had gotten to you much later, after the storm of egg poaching and hollandaise and brunchy spring vegetable frittatas, you might have missed out on Deborah Madison’s Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread.

This recipe is about speed and efficiency. It is about thrift. It gives you everything you could ever want from a dish of spring’s darling vegetable, with none of the hardship of fancy sauces or slow-poaching. Which is fortuitous, because you’ve waited so long for spring to happen that you no longer have time for any of the fanfare. You want spring food, and you want it now.

Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread from Food52

Add this to your regular rotation and you’ll soon remember why we do this familiar asparagus-and-egg dance every year. Just like we wrap ourselves around creamy pastas on cold nights and fill ourselves full of pancakes on Sundays, we revisit these two every spring because they’re safe, trustworthy. Asparagus and eggs have never done us any wrong. They’ve never left us prematurely, just when things got good. (We leave that to flashy ramps and free-spirited fiddleheads.)

And so you should honor them: with an upright, sharp vinaigrette; with a cool, creamy egg; with a big platter and a hungry mouth. 

Halved, or not halved, this recipe makes for the kind of meal best eaten alone, with a tall pour of burly white wine. It’s a dish made for eating freely, for dangling spears into your mouth two at a time and dragging your finger across the plate for the last of the vinaigrette-logged breadcrumbs. 

Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread

But first you will swiftly cook: You will roast your asparagus and whisk to life a quick vinaigrette. You will hard-cook an egg. And instead of letting prissy breadcrumb-making get the better of you on a harried weeknight, you will rip a piece of crisped bread with your own two hands over the whole dish, animal style. Toasty bread will spit and fly like fireworks, somehow yielding the perfect ratio of croutons to shards.

It’s best slightly warm, but no one -- not even Madison -- forbids against eating it cold the next day, or from constructing it out of leftovers to begin with. If you’ve got a hard-cooked egg in your fridge and a heel of sourdough in your breadbox, this dish will reward you for it. Got a viniagrette already made? Good for you. You wanted spring food -- this is how to have it now. 

Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread from Food52

Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread

Serves 2

1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the asparagus
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 thick slice sourdough or ciabatta
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

Photos by Eric Moran

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Joan - Downstairs
    Joan - Downstairs
  • LauriL
  • EmilyC
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Kenzi Wilbur
    Kenzi Wilbur
Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Joan -. April 20, 2014
Thanks for this reminder. Seems like every year I need to be told to ROAST asparagus. I wish I thought of it this morning before I steamed the Easter asparagus. The reserved-just-for-me, thick-stemmed asparagus will definitely be roasted and served up with torn bread and that is a welcome new twist!
Kenzi W. April 21, 2014
I forget too! Luckily it's not too hot yet to turn our ovens on. Go forth and roast!
LauriL April 20, 2014
Believe it or not but we had asparagus poking up through the snow the other will soon be peeking up from my plate dressed in this recipe!!
EmilyC April 16, 2014
This asparagus may very well make it onto my Easter table. It seems perfectly unfussy. By the way, I recall that DM writes in Vegetable Literacy that her favorite method of cooking asparagus is on the griddle. Curious, have you tried that?
Kenzi W. April 16, 2014
Oh I hope it does. And I haven't, but I think I'll have many chances yet -- this is one for the favorites list. Let me know if that's how you do it!
Marian B. April 16, 2014
I am so grateful for this dish -- mostly because I love breadcrumbs but recently spent 30 minutes making a batch, just for one dish, just for myself, and then just yelled WHY WHY WHY? about it. This is a lovely alternative.