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Posts tagged ‘Breakfast recipes’

The Asparagus Table – La Vignarola – Italian Spring Soup, Wholemeal Asparagus Tart and Egg Asparagus Soldiers

Some of the simplest things in life are best, how often have you heard that remark?  The long awaited asparagus season is here in New Zealand and keeping it simple with asparagus certainly highlights the veg at it’s best. My favourite way to eat asparagus is just lightly steamed served with eggs ‘anyway’ and lashings of butter,  try a fun quirky way of serving the spears with your soft boiled egg using them as ‘dunking soldiers’. As I was eating the asparagus and boiled eggs my mind had already wandered onto truffle oil drizzled into the shell…watch out shopping bill, truffle oil may well be in the next basket.

The Italian spring soup La Vignarola is perfect for show casing not only asparagus but also lovely spring vegetables of podded peas and broad beans. If you can’t find them freshly podded and don’t have them sprouting away in your garden, snap frozen are pretty convenient and taste great too. A simple tart of asparagus with sour cream and mustard is easy for anyone to whip up, I made a wholemeal pastry but you can always buy pre bought if you are short on time or don’t have ‘pastry fingers’.

La Vignarola – Spring Soup


4 spring onions, sliced

2 bunches asparagus

200g frozen peas, defrosted

200g broad beans, podded (you can use frozen)

200g jar marinated artichoke hearts

3 cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable stock

Large handful each of parsley & mint, finely chopped

Zest and juice 1 small lemon

100g shaved Pecorino to serve

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


Cut the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard, then cut spears into three.

Place a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the asparagus, podded broad beans and stock to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the peas, artichokes juice and zest of the lemon to the saucepan and season with salt & pepper.

You can add some of the artichoke marinade to the soup also if you wish, tasting as you do.

Add the parsley and mint.

Bring the soup to the boil then remove from the heat and serve immediately, you want the veg to be crisp and green.

Serve the soup with shaved pecorino and crust bread

Asparagus Tart – serves 6

Ingredients – pastry
110g butter

180g wholemeal flour
1 egg

2 Tbsp iced water

pinch of salt

Method – Pastry

Place flour, butter and salt in the bowl and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and water and knead together briefly to form a dough.

Rest the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll pastry out to fit tart tin and press into place, trim edges off pastry.

Ingredients – Tart Filling

1 bunch spring asparagus

250g sour cream

2 large free range eggs

2 heaped tsp whole grain mustard

salt & pepper to season

ground black pepper

Method – Tart Filling

Pre-heat oven at 180C & grease & flour a 20cm loose bottom tart tin.

Remove the woody ends from the asparagus and cut spear in half.

Whisk together the sour cream, eggs and mustard and season with a little salt & pepper.

Pour mixture into the pastry base.

Lay the asparagus half spears on top of the mixture in pastry case, alternating tip and base as in picture.

Grind some black pepper over the top of asparagus.

Bake in oven on a lower shelf (to crisp pastry base) for 35-40 minutes until tart is set and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing tart from mould.
Serve warm of chilled

Sunday Eggs with Babaganoush & Breakfast at Queenies Lunchroom


Queenies Lunchroom seems to be my meeting place with fellow Auckland bloggers. We met there again a few weeks ago to discuss a few more ideas for the upcoming Food Bloggers Conference in November. I’m always pleased for an excuse to head into town and have breakfast, it’s a 45 minute drive for me so we only go if we have something planned or meet up with friends. Last time I was at Queenies I was torn by the menu choices, they offer dishes you wouldn’t see anywhere else like the Turkish eggs which are poached eggs served with babaghanoush, yoghurt, hot chilli butter and toast. That was my choice for the day.

The photo is my replica of the dish which I made for breakfast, I didn’t have the yoghurt in the fridge ( well I did but it was well past it’s best to eat fresh so I skipped this).

Below is Nigel Slater’s recipe for Babaganoush. Make a big batch and use it on sandwiches or as a dip as well as with your poached eggs. I used smacked paprika rather than grill the aubergine/egg plant which is the traditional way.

2-3 aubergine/egg plant
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tahini paste
Juice of a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of smoked paprika

Grill the aubergines over hot coals or the flame of a gas hob till the skin has charred and the flesh is very soft. Or as I did bake them then add the smoked paprika.
Scrape the flesh from the charred skin and whisk with 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and olive oil and paprika.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with poached eggs, toast or pita bread, a drizzle of chilli oil and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

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