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.