A centerpiece asparagus dish layered with bacon, egg, fresh herbs, and breadcrumbs.
Course: Side Dish
Keywords:: asparagus, bacon, breadcrumbs, egg, side dish, spring
1bunchasparagus, bottoms trimmed
1lemon, zested, plus juice of 1/2 of the lemon
4tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to finish
1tablespoonaged balsamic syrup (optional)
1hard-boiled egg, crumbled (directions follow)
3stripsbacon, crumbled (directions follows)
1/4cuptoasted fresh breadcrumbs (directions follow; you'll use less than this)
2tablespoonsfresh herbs, such as chives or parsley, minced
12turnsfresh-cracked black pepper
First Steps (These can be made up to several days in advance and refrigerated)
Hard boil the egg: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add the egg, and cook at a low simmer for exactly 12 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Peel. (See How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs for more thorough directions.)
Toast breadcrumbs: In a small skillet, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the breadcrumbs over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve. PRO TIP: You will have some left over. Toasted breadcrumbs are always worth having around, and make excellent garnishes for hearty salads or pastas.
Make the bacon: Set a medium skillet over medium-low heat, and add the bacon while the pan is still cold. When the bacon starts to sizzle, lower heat to low and cook, turning halfway, until the fat has rendered and the bacon has crisped up, about 10 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.TIP: Never put bacon grease down the sink. It will harden and clog. To dispose of bacon grease, let it cool a bit, then strain into a clean jar and refrigerate for future use, or dispose in the trash.
The Asparagus and Final Assembly
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line or lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
Rinse the asparagus, and trim off the bottom inch or so. Arrange the asparagus on a single layer on the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and the pepper. Toss. Roast the asparagus for about 20 minutes, or until just tender but still bright green.
Meanwhile, zest and halve the lemon, crumble the hard-boiled egg and bacon. I use a cutting board and knife for the bacon and my hands for the egg. Mince the fresh herbs. Set each aside separately on a plate along with 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs. You want separate little piles instead of mixing everything so you can build the layers.
Place the cooked asparagus neatly on a serving dish. Drizzle with the balsamic, if using, and the lemon juice.
Layer half of the bacon, half the breadcrumbs, egg, and some zest on the middle center of the asparagus. Repeat with the rest of the bacon, breadcrumbs, and egg, finishing by topping with fresh herbs, another splash of olive oil, and the rest of the zest. Serve warm.
A recipe from Unpeeled. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.