Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg and Lemon-Mustard Sauce

April  2, 2013
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I love roasted asparagus, and I'm ready to eat massive amounts of it as soon as it comes back into season each spring. And you know what I love just as much as roasted asparagus? Poached Eggs.

It's my sincere belief that any meal or dish can be improved upon if a poached egg is placed on top. I've found that they're good on leftover lentils and beans, salads, and even pizza. And it wasn't until recently that I feel like I mastered poached eggs in the oh-yeah-I-can-get-this-right-every-time way. The secret? I stopped swirling the freakin' water. I'd been trained to get the water simmering, then put a spoon in and swirl vigourously until you have a tornado working in the pot. Sorry Bill Paxton, put away your sensors, there's no twister in my kitchen. Yep, I just referenced the 1996 classic cinematic adventure, Twister.

Well, the swirl method just really didn't work for me. I never got a nicely-shaped egg in the end. There were always, like, egg tendrils that escaped and got lost in the pot. Once I stopped swirling the water and instead just started sliding the eggs (slowwwwwllllly) into completely still water, my poached egg win-to-fail ratio improved greatly. Just don't forget the vinegar. That's key, too. Use any vinegar you have on hand.

The sauce here can sort of be thought of as a lazy-man's hollandaise, without the massive amounts of butter. So maybe it's not like hollandaise at all. But, it's lemony and has a mustard kick to it, and the tarragon adds a little herbal note. The thing about this sauce is that it seems like it was way harder to make than it actually was. And doesn't everybody like to impress their relatives at brunch? —foxeslovelemons

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Foxesloveslemons is a cook and photographer living in Michigan.
WHAT: Roasted asparagus, plus its new best friends.
HOW: Roast your asparagus with salt and pepper; whisk together your sauce on the stove; poach your eggs. Then eat it and rejoice in spring.
WHY WE LOVE IT: As foxesloveslemons says, this sauce is much easier to throw together than it seems—and is the perfect lemony, mustardy compliment to the asparagus and the runny poached egg. We can't think of a better way to welcome spring. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon Colman's mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. On a rimmed baking pan, arrange asparagus in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast 10 to 12 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
  2. In small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat until just simmering. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until cream is reduced to 1/2 cup, or is a thickened, saucy consistency. Remove from heat; whisk in lemon juice, butter, tarragon, lemon zest, mustard powder, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Keep in a warm spot on your stove.
  3. Fill a high-sided skillet with water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat so that water is just barely bubbling. Add vinegar to water. Crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin and slide egg into water. Poach 3 to 4 minutes or until whites are cooked through but yolk is still soft. Remove eggs from pan and drain on paper towel.
  4. Divide asparagus between plates. Top with poached eggs and drizzle with sauce; garnish with additional tarragon.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Danna Farabee
    Danna Farabee
  • Ruchi
  • Ashley Pettey Merback
    Ashley Pettey Merback
  • inpatskitchen
  • ChefJune

22 Reviews

Quinn August 4, 2022
Very good. Love the sauce. Need to work on my poached eggs.
Danna F. June 2, 2021
Easy and tasty. Will make the sauce often. Thanks!
Danna F. June 3, 2021
Next night I added red wine vinegar to the cold left over sauce and had great dressing for Cobb Salad.
Ruchi May 2, 2016
recipe looks lovely, the husband is asking me to make roasted asparagus again, so going to make this!
HINT for poached eggs, use a strainer to get rid of the very watery part of the white
or use the microwave method! http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/inside-our-kitchen/article/for-perfectly-poached-eggs-the-microwave-is-your-friend
i actually strain the egg first, then use the microwave method
i went from only ever having poached eggs at a restaurant brunch, to poached eggs all the time =)
Jenna June 5, 2014
This recipe was so perfect, delicious, and simple!
foxeslovelemons June 6, 2014
So glad to hear that. Thank you, Jenna!
Ashley P. April 21, 2014
This looks amazing! But can I comment on that platter? I once saw a set of dishes like this and I have spent hours (no kidding) trying to hunt down a place where I could buy my own??!! Irregular white pottery! Where did you find this? Thank you soooooo much! Foxeslovelemons.
foxeslovelemons April 21, 2014
Hi Ashley! The photo shown above was actually taken by Food52's photographer / food stylist. So, I'm not sure where they got that beautiful platter, but I'm wondering if this one might be similar?

psi April 19, 2014
You forgot to list the amount of lemon juice. I found it on another website: 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
foxeslovelemons April 20, 2014
Thanks for pointing that out, psi. I've corrected it :)
foxeslovelemons April 20, 2014
Errr....I wish I COULD correct it. For some reason it's not letting me. Sorry about that :(
pvanhagenlcsw April 18, 2014
This was a Good Friday dinner that I would have definitely not have enjoyed as a youngster ( very Catholic Italian Irish family ) but tonight was different and it was delightful especially with a brioche freshly baked from a recipe from another food52 contributor. Wonderful celebration of the abundance of asparagus from the Delta here in northern California. The cream sauce was heavenly!
foxeslovelemons April 20, 2014
So glad you enjoyed it, pvanhagenicsw!
inpatskitchen April 14, 2014
Congratulations Lori!!! Beautiful recipe!
foxeslovelemons April 20, 2014
Thanks so much, Pat!
ChefJune April 14, 2014
This looks like Easter brunch to me. Congrats on the WC win!
foxeslovelemons April 14, 2014
Thanks so much, ChefJune. And because I hadn't heard yet, thanks for letting me know :)
luvcookbooks March 11, 2014
Sorry, my daughter is bronxbaker, the thanks, will try the lemon juice comment is from me, luvcookbooks... we have to be careful now that we have separate logins!
luvcookbooks March 11, 2014
The photo is so pretty. Agree about poached eggs,or fried eggs, on top of most anything to make a main dish. I poach eggs without vinegar and put up with the tendrils. I don't like the taste of the vinegar. Can't wait for spring and so esp love this recipe for asparagus!! Thanks!
foxeslovelemons March 11, 2014
Thanks so much, luvcookbooks! Have you ever tried poaching using a squeeze of lemon or orange juice? Of course, it's not like the tendrils are THAT big of a deal, but just thought that might be a vinegar-free option for you.
bronxbaker March 11, 2014
Thanks, will try the lemon juice!
foxeslovelemons March 11, 2014
Hehehe, that's why I don't let my husband touch "my" computer ;)