Roasted Asparagus topped with Eggs
(Prepared in the 15.75" Oval Skillet)
It’s fun to cook with versatile cookware because you have so many options. Here we do the unexpected; roast asparagus, and then, in the same pan, fry the eggs, then top each serving. The pan’s size lets you roast the vegetables turning them halfway through the cooking so they heat evenly.
Use this as a different first or appetizer course. For a brunch entrée, you could also oven-cook at least a half pound of bacon, thanks to the broad cooking area. And we like it because you can fry all the eggs you need at one time!
1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, medium thickness (36 to 42 spears)
3 tablespoons good olive oil, preferably Spanish, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup Serrano ham cut in small strips
6 “large” eggs
Strips of jarred piquillo peppers for garnish
1/4 cup grated manchego or Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
Bend each asparagus spear and snap off the tough fibrous end. Rinse the spears and pat dry. Arrange them on the pan and drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Use your hands for this. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and toss again.
Place the Oval Skillet in the oven and roast the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Slide out the rack and, using two wooden spoons, turn the spears over. Continue roasting another 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness, until just tender.
Remove the skillet from the oven using hot pads and place on the stovetop. Divide the asparagus between 6 plates (6 or 7 spears per plate) and drizzle a bit of sherry vinegar over each portion. (The asparagus may be served at room temperature.)
Set the pan on a stove top and turn to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and when it is heated, quickly sauté the ham strips. When the ham pieces are crisp, move the skillet off the burner. Remove the ham to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Return the pan to the heat and fry the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are almost set but still a bit runny. Using a thin spatula, carefully lift each egg and place each atop the asparagus. Dust each egg with salt and pepper. And top each egg with equal amounts of the ham with strips of the pepper. Sprinkle the optional cheese over. Serve immediately. Serves 6.