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Toby Stuart's English asparagus with soft poached quail's eggs, Bosworth Ash goat's cheese and hazelnut brown butter


I like to use seagull eggs - but they are only available for a few, short weeks of the year in April and early May. They have to be gathered by hand by the brave who climb the cliffs, and as a result are extremely hard to find in shops. In this recipe, I've substituted the gull eggs for quail's eggs. Bosworth Ash is a lovely mild, sumptious goat's cheese. It's produced by Innes Cheese, is unpasturised and suitable for vegetarians.

Toby Stuart's English Asparagus with soft poached quail's eggs, bosworth ash goat's cheese and hazelnut brown butter

Making the most of English asparagus this dish is great for breakfast, brunch or a light starter. When choosing your asparagus, make sure it's firm, fresh looking and the spears are un-damaged.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 10 Minutes
Cooking Time 15 – 20 Minutes
Serves 4 People
Toby Stuart's English asparagus with soft poached quail's eggs, Bosworth Ash goat's cheese and hazelnut brown butter Toby Stuart's English asparagus with soft poached quail's eggs, Bosworth Ash goat's cheese and hazelnut brown butter

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of fresh English asparagus
  • 12 quail's eggs
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 150g butter
  • 100g Bosworth Ash goat's cheese, kept refrigerated
  • picked chervil, to serve

Method

1.

To prepare the asparagus, remove the tough base and peel the stalks if they are large. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and place the asparagus in carefully. Cook at a high boil until al dente.

2.

To prepare the eggs: Bring a medium sized pan of water to the boil. Break all the quail's eggs into a large bowl. Use a small serrated knife to saw the side of the egg shell so you can split them without breaking the yolks. Add the vinegar to the bowl, then pour the eggs into the pan of simmering water. Cook for 1 minute and remove using as slotted spoon, place on some kitchen roll to drain.

3.

For the hazelnut brown butter: Preheat the grill to 200C. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and grill until golden brown. Allow to cool and then crush into little pieces. Add the butter to a frying pan, and over a medium heat colour the butter until it is nut brown. Remove from the heat and add the hazelnuts.

4.

For the goat's cheese: Whilst the goat's cheese is still firm from the fridge, dice into rough 5cm cubes. Place on an oven tray and char using a blowtorch. These need to be served at room temperature to appreciate the full flavour of the cheese.

5.

To serve: Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and drain on some kitchen roll. Place the hot asparagus onto the serving plates, the little poached eggs on top, (3 per portion or 1 gull's egg cut in half), a few cubes of the charred goat's cheese and finish with a generous few spoons of the hazelnut butter. Garnish with some picked chervil and serve.

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