A Simple Spring Starter


Asparagus is one of my favorite things about spring. Here it stars in a simple dish that can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. With one egg it can be a first course, with two eggs it's a main course.

I dress broiled asparagus with lemon and butter, serve it over a bed of shaved sweet red pepper, and top it with an egg or two (depending on the other components of the meal). The result is a symphony of flavors and textures: it's hot and cool, soft and crisp, tart and rich.

This dish is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. And it's also a lot like spring: light, satisfying, and colorful.

2 tbsp grass-fed butter 
1 bunch asparagus
Sea salt 
Ground peppercorn
1 small red bell pepper 
Organic lemon, zest and juice

Preheat the broiler and melt the butter in a large skillet.

Arrange the asparagus in a shallow baking dish and pour some of the melted butter over the stalks, just enough to coat. Toss them together, then sprinkle with sea salt and ground peppercorn. Broil until crispy and starting to brown, about 5 minutes or more, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Set aside to cool.

Thinly slice the red bell pepper with a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Arrange the slices on a serving plate. Once the asparagus is cool enough to handle, place it over the red pepper slices.

Use the rest of the butter in the skillet to cook the eggs to your preference. I recommend cooking them lightly to allow the yolk to act as a sauce for the vegetables when you eat them. When they're perfectly cooked, turn off the heat and place the eggs on top of the asparagus.

Working quickly before the eggs cool, zest some lemon peel into the skillet and squeeze in some lemon juice. Stir them into any leftover butter (as long as it hasn't burned) and pour it over the eggs. Garnish the dish with more grated lemon zest or freshly ground black pepper if you wish. Serve immediately.