Pan-roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Brown Butter-Lemon Hazelnuts

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  • 20 thin or 12 fat asparagus spears, tough ends removed
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 fresh large eggs
  • Pinch of snipped chives, for garnish


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Place asparagus spears in a small baking pan. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just crisp-tender. They will continue to cook a bit after you remove them from the oven.

In a small sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add hazelnuts and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until hazelnuts are a deep golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze as much of the lemon into the pan as you desire.

In a small saucepan, bring water to a bare simmer and add vinegar. Break eggs, one by one, into a small bowl and then gently slide them into the simmering water. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on your preference for doneness. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from the water and allow to drain for a moment on paper towels.

Arrange 5 small or 3 fat asparagus spears on each of 4 plates. Season each egg with salt, pepper and chives and place 1 egg on top of each bundle of asparagus. Scatter hazelnuts over the top and serve immediately.

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