Freshly picked pea shoots from Thyme's kitchen garden bring a lightness, combined with new season asparagus that is all about spring. If you don't grow your own asparagus, try the Evesham Vale spears that are appearing in greengrocers and supermarkets now, they are exceptionally good and there are a vast arrary of events in the Vale over the coming two months to enjoy as part of the British Asparagus Festival. The coppa is a delicious Italian-style air-dried ham flavoured with a touch of rosemary, sourced from our friends at Trealy Farm in Monmouthshire; but The Swan's Head Chef, Matt says that any really good charcuterie will be delicious in this recipe.
Serves 4 people as a main
- 150g pea shoots
- 28 Asparagus spears, 1inch removed from the base
- 4 large soft boiled hens’ eggs, peeled
- 120g Coppa
- 200g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 100g unsalted butter, diced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 large sprig of thyme
- Sea salt flakes & cracked black pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking
- Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to boil, carefully drop in the eggs, cover and boil for 5 minutes.
- Once cooked plunge into iced water to prevent from cooking further.
- Place a griddle or skillet pan onto the hob and leave to get hot.
- Season the asparagus spears with sea salt flakes and black pepper and then drizzle with olive oil.
- When the griddle pan is hot or just starting to smoke, carefully place the asparagus into the pan, across the griddles to give it a nice caramelised flavour. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook for several minutes or until the asparagus is just soft.
- Place the butter, lemon juice and thyme sprig into a medium pan and bring to a gentle boil.
- Carefully place the slices of coppa into the butter and simmer gently for a few minutes to release their oils and flavour. Set to one side to cool.
- Arrange the asparagus onto your plates.
- Cut the hens’ eggs in half, season with salt & pepper and place two halves on each plate.
- Arrange the cooked ham slices across your asparagus & eggs, drizzle the excess butter over as your sauce and sprinkle with the grated parmesan.
- Finish your plates with some fresh, crisp pea shoots and serve immediately.