By Steph Farrar
A few things about my dad: he grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended Oklahoma State University, and still proudly wears black and orange on game days in support (in the privacy of his own home of course; dreadful color combination any day other than Hallow's Eve). Oh, and he hates asparagus.
Truly, truly hates asparagus.
I have absolutely no intention of persuading him to try it after all these years of evasion and resentment, even though I believe I have mastered roasted asparagus with crunchy garlic. Even though he's probably never tasted something this green and this delicious, I will forego any attempt at conversion. I will, however, make him read this post.
And I'll make him stare at the beauty in this spring vegetable.
I believe the story goes like this: dad was force-fed asparagus quite often as a young boy, to the point of actually making him sick. It makes perfect sense why, as an independent man, really by age 14, he chose to refute the stalks. I would do the same thing. Neither of my parents ever force-fed their kids, which is why I crave things like spinach, sushi, and farro. I'm grateful for my lack of aversion to pretty much everything sans eggplant and blue cheese. But that's my palette's fault, not my parent's.
If you too have a distaste for asparagus, I beg you try this easy recipe, just once.
Up until about five years ago, I always just cut the stems evenly. I would blame it on my OCD but actually I just didn't know you could snap the end off; the asparagus knows what part of its stalk is tasty, and what part is bitter. Impressive vegetable.
Speaking of impressive things, these eggs.
If you have an Egg man, then you are lucky. If you have this Egg man, you are blessed. He already runs out every Sunday morning at our tiny local farmer's market, so until I know he has enough stock, I'll keep his location to myself. I must thank my dear friend Sarah Morris Brower for sending me to the Egg man so many months ago when we moved to Wilshire Vista. I have not been able to enjoy an Egg from anywhere else since. I have, however, joined a weekly subscription delivery from Summerland, and next week I'll receive a dozen of their farm-fresh eggs. We will see how they compare and compete. And by the way, Summerland is changing my life. Check it out.
I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner nearly every day if I didn't need variety. I wish I could say the same for my dad. With all my heart I can honestly say, he would hate it.
Roasted Garlic Asparagus with Sunny Side Up Egg
Large handful of asparagus, stalks snapped at base
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 eggs shaved parmesan or pecorino
Heat convection roasting oven to 400
In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until cloudy.
Place asparagus on roasting pan or cookie sheet and cover with garlic / olive oil mixture. Combine on the sheet so all stalks are covered with as much garlic as you can pinch, resting atop the asparagus.
Roast for 16-18 minutes.
In last five minutes of roasting, heat butter in a cast iron skillet on medium low heat. Crack eggs and fry slowly until the white part of the egg is just cooked, never flipping.
Plate asparagus, top with egg and roasted garlic pieces, sprinkle with cheese.