Warm salad of asparagus and quail eggs with fennel pollen.

Quail eggs, Asparagus and Fennel Feast:

I have some quail eggs left from making kedgeree.  And, I managed to find some English asparagus this week, though it did look a little sad!  So, rather than just steaming it, I wanted to make something different, since this summer the asparagus is such a rarity.

The Wild Fennel Pollen has been sent to me to try by Global Harvest.  When it first arrived I opened the pot and sniffed (as you do) and tasted just a tiny bit.  It’s like nothing else I’ve ever tried…tiny flavour explosions of sunshine with just a slight taste of aniseed.  I will, of course, be experimenting some more and trying it in other dishes.  Apparently it is particularly popular in Italy and used there a lot with fish and cheese.

This recipe is so simple but worked very well.  Pairing egg and asparagus is not new but the addition of a light lemony dressing and just a little bit of fennel pollen has made it very special.  Eat it as a warm salad – if you do better than me at cooking the eggs, you should have warm runny egg yolk mixing in with the asparagus!  If you don’t have quail eggs, you could use chopped chicken eggs, just try to leave some gooeyness in the yolks rather than hardboiling.

 

Asparagus with Quails Eggs and Fennel Pollen

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Starter
Warm asparagus and quail egg salad. A quick and simple dish made special with a little wild fennel pollen

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch English Asparagus (trimmed and washed)
  • 3 Quail Eggs
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 100ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fennel Pollen

Directions

Step 1 Trim the asparagus. If they have woody ends you may also need to scrape and turn them
Step 2 Steam the asparagus in a large pan of boiling salted water and drain
Step 3 Make a light lemon dressing by mixing lemon juice and olive oil into an emulsion. You want about 1/5 the amount of lemon juice to oil, so one whole lemon will make too much dressing for one person, but it keeps well in the fridge
Step 4 Soft boil the quail eggs. This should take 2mins 30 secs, and as you can see from the photo mine are slightly overdone. But, it doesn't really matter so long as you have a softish yolk and firm white.
Step 5 Make up the salad by dressing the asparagus with the lemon and oil and then placing the eggs on top. Garnish with a pinch of fennel pollen.

 

If like me, your asparagus is a bit woody, then after you’ve trimmed off the worst, turn the ends…use a sharp vegetable knife or peeler and just peel off the top woody layer.  And, if you don’t happen to have fennel pollen, try a little lemon zest instead.

I’m entering this in No Croutons Required this month, where the theme is EGGS

 

asparagus with quail eggs and fennel pollen

 

No Croutons Required

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Comments

  1. am intrigued by the fennel pollen sounds amazing… looks delightful!

    • london_unattached says:

      it’s really rather wonderful stuff.  I was sent a sample of that and of some dill pollen too and am a convert.  Just need to cook some more now

  2. very nice recipe. I love asparagus like this. In Belgium I have had it with hard boiled chopped egg. a great pairing. Not tried fennel pollen before. Sounds interesting!

  3. Now I am going to be on the hunt for fennel pollen! This looks lovely!

  4. I’ve never used fennel pollen but will definitely give it a go now. Great recipe!

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