Smashed new potatoes with grilled asparagus
Following my recent conversion to the world of asparagus, I have been keen to eat as much of it as I can while it is in season and at its best, and now that new potatoes are cheap as chips I thought why not slap the two of them together in a super easy meal? Grilling brings out the woody asparagus flavour, and keeps a nice crunchy texture (provided you don’t overcook of course!).
They grow fantastic Jersey Bennies in Oamaru, which is about 120kms north of Dunedin. I am a big fan of using potatoes with the skins on as you get great texture with no waste and less prep time. They are a waxy potato, so won’t make a creamy mash, but smashed into the bacon render they sure are good! You could go for any of the other varieties of new potato – Draga, Nadine, Frisia – or a good all rounder like Desiree will work as well. Great for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.
- 4 rashes bacon, cut into 1cm strips
- 600g new potatoes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 spears asparagus, woody bases of the steams removed
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 free range eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Wash potatoes and cut into evenly-sized chunks. Boil until tender in salted water.
- 2. While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon pieces in a medium-sized frying pan until crispy.
- 3. When potatoes are cooked, drain and add to the pan with bacon. Crush into the bacon render, mixing until you get a chunky, rustic mix. Fry for a further couple of minutes, then season and set aside while you poach the eggs and grill the asparagus.
- 4. Boil some fresh water ready to poach your eggs.
- 5. While the water is heating, heat olive oil on a griddle pan (or skillet) until just beginning to smoke. Add asparagus and cook in one layer, turning a couple of times. Cook until just tender — only a couple of minutes.
- 6. Add vinegar to water and carefully crack eggs in. Poach for between 2 and 3 minutes, depending on how firm you like your yolks.
- 7. To serve place half the potato and bacon mixture on each plate, top with three asparagus spears, and finish with a poached egg. Season well with freshly ground salt and pepper.