How to Make the Most of Asparagus

(recipe, Jane Grigson)

primary-image, l


  1. 2 lb. asparagus
  2. 1½ lb. new potatoes
  3. 4 to 6 hard-boiled or coddled eggs, cut in half


  1. Scrape the new potatoes and leave them in water until required. Peel the hard part from the asparagus stems, then trim 2 to 3 inches from the bottom. Tie the asparagus into bunches.
  2. Put 2 inches of water into a large saucepan with a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Stand the bunches of asparagus upright in the pan, put the stem trimmings around them, and the new potatoes on top of the trimmings. Put the lid on the pan, or arrange a dome of foil over it if the asparagus heads come above the rim. Steam for 20 to 40 minutes according to thickness and type of asparagus.
  3. When done, drain the asparagus (reserve the cooking water). Place the stalks on a platter with the potatoes and the eggs arranged around them. Serve hot, warm, or cold, with hollandaise or mayonnaise if you like.