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Spring asparagus with soft fried eggs and fresh parmesan. A great Italian inspired light lunch.

Updated on November 26, 2010

simple classic asparagus, eggs and parmesan.

Photo taken from, an excellent food blog
Photo taken from, an excellent food blog

Eat spring asparagus!

This is a simple dish that highlights the great taste of spring asparagus. Asparagus in season is so good that you want to serve it as simply as possible; this Italian dish is perfect for a light lunch or brunch dish, and can be ready in 10 minutes.

I have to confess that the inspiration for this hub came from Saveur magazine, and their cover photo of this recipe.

This dish is Italian in origin, and if you want to go southern Italian, use olive oil to cook the eggs, and if you want a more northern Italian taste, use butter. I think butter is better, so that’s what I call for in this recipe. Since there are only three ingredients in this dish, it’s pretty important that they all be of the highest quality.

Asparagus should be freshly harvested. Look for firm stems and a tightly bunched bud at the top. Good fresh eggs are a must, and you must use freshly grated parmesan, or parmesan like cheese. Pre grated parmesan isn’t going to cut it here.

If you are not using freshly grated parmesan for all your parmesan needs, you should really switch! It’s not any more expensive, but the flavor is night and day better when compared to tasteless pre grated parmesan.

Get a micro plane grater for a really easy way to shave and grate the hard cheese into really fine bits.

Asparagus with eggs and parmesan

  • 1 good sized bunch of asparagus
  • 4 eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter or olive oil


  1. Bring a big pot of boiling salted water to the boil, and at the same time, heat a heavy skillet over medium low heat. Add a generous Tbls of butter or olive oil to the pan, and when hot, crack in your four eggs. You want to keep the heat low while you're cooking these eggs. You don’t want a crunchy white and a hard yolk. You want a delicate egg, with a yolk that will spill over the asparagus and combine the freshly grated parmesan cheese to delicious effect.
  2. The eggs should take about five minute to cook, so the timing is about right so that you can boil your asparagus just after you crack your eggs into the pan. The asparagus will take about 3-5 minutes to boil, depending on the size, so start tasting them after 3 minutes; they are done when they are just tender, but certainly not limp.
  3. Strain the asparagus, and arrange the spears in a group on four plates. The eggs should be done by now, so add a single egg directly on top of the middle of the asparagus spears on each plate.
  4. Add a little sprinkle of salt over the asparagus and eggs, and top each plate with a couple of Tbls of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

That’s it. It’s so easy, but so good. Italian cooking is all about taking a few really good ingredients, and showcasing them in a simple, flavorful way. When asparagus is at its seasonal peak, there’s not too much that will beat this easy yet elegant dish.

You should really have one of these incredible graters!


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    • profile image

      ar 7 years ago

      the food blog you were talking about is!

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      How can you be so skinny when you are such a good cokk, John? Thank you again for sharing. I am going to try a few of your recipes when I get a chance. I am glad I found your hubs!

    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 10 years ago

      It's a really great, quick light lunch.

    • profile image

      Barb Lee 10 years ago

      I'm going to try this as it sounds tastey and simple. There is nothing like fresh local asparigus!