Simmer the asparagus in lightly salted water till tender, either by steaming upright in a bundle, or in a large pan just not quite covering the
asparagus stems with water. Meanwhile bring another pan of water to the boil for the eggs. Mash the anchovies with the lemon juice, butter and pepper. Carefully place the eggs in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, this will depend on the size of the eggs, and may take a little experimentation! Strain the asparagus, and arrange around the eggs with
the anchovy butter. Dip the asparagus in the butter, then the eggs. The eggs can either be in eggcups, or completely peeled. Now wash your hands and dig in!
Asparagus with parmesan
450g (1lb) 1 bundle (large handful) of asparagus, 15 to 24 stems depending on size and appetite
110g (4oz) parmesan cheese
50g (2oz) butter, melted
Steam the asparagus for 10 minutes till just tender. The usual method for steaming asparagus is to cut off the woody base, then loosely tie the stalks in a bundle, and stand upright in a suitable pan, gently boiling the bottom half of the stems while the tips steam. You can use the pan method as shown in the other recipe above. Whichever method
don’t over cook! When steamed, lie in an oven proof dish, scatter with grated parmesan and melted butter then grill or bake till cheese is melted. Serve, perhaps with some shaved parmesan for decoration.