Asparagus signals the beginning of spring as much as the much-lauded wild leeks. How appropriate that French Fridays with Dorie is cooking Asparagus with Bits of Bacon this Easter weekend! I suppose it would actually help if the weather in Ontario is warm enough to harvest asparagus. Since it is not (brrr!), imports from our southern neighbour would have to do. My inner locavore chided my shopping decision but since I already broke the rule, I might as well go with Wellshire Farm bacon all the way from New Jersey.
In my attempt to balance out the “foreign percentage” of my breakfast plate, I paired the smoky savoury side with a fried duck egg from my CSA and a couple slices of Seeduction bread from the local Whole Foods. Bacon and egg with green vegetable and whole grain bread? This sounds like a wholesome breakfast to kick off the long weekend. Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day. Sure the asparagus would make a fine addition to any Easter feast (ham! lamb!), but I can’t think of anything but breakfast.
The cooking direction was straight forward. Blanched asparagus was lightly dressed in hazelnut oil and lemon juice. I trimmed the ends by running a vegetable peeler down the bottom three inches to remove the more fibrous parts. The thick-cut bacon I used rendered a lot of bacon fat and perfumed my entire kitchen with delicious smoky fragrance. Some of those bacon fat were used to coat the chopped onion, some were used to fry the duck egg. For a nice kick, I sprinkled a pinch of piment d'espelette over the egg and vegetable as finishing touch.
Is it okay to admit that I never jump on the bacon bandwagon? Sure I enjoy the occasional crispy strip but I am not a believer of “everything’s better with bacon”. Using bacon in dessert is a fun departure and I agree a few strips of bacon is essential to success of barbeque beans. But bacon in soup and salad, rice and pasta, cupcake and ice-cream, casserole and sandwich? I do not get excited the way some bacon fanatics do. I cannot recall the last time I fried up some bacon before today. Do you have any great recipe to convince me otherwise?
Eggs, on the other hand, get me excited. Fried, poached, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, custard, or quiche, bring them on! A half dozen of duck eggs were part of this week’s CSA box. I could not be happier. It’s no coincidence that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
Want to check out other uses for this versatile side dish? Check out other French Fridays with Dorie bloggers!