A delicious starter...

by Webmaster, 18th June 2019

Simon Doyle of Harry's Bistro on Anglesey serves up a delicious starter of seasonal asparagus, served with poached egg, ham and garlic mayonnaise

Simon says: “We always love getting the first of the season’s asparagus from Hooton’s Homegrown Farm Shop on Anglesey, as it’s so tender and sweet. There’s no waste as you can eat the whole stem. If it’s slightly older, hold the asparagus at either end and bend it down. It will snap at the point where it becomes woody.

“Black garlic is a type of aged garlic. Whole bulbs are slowly heated for several weeks. It tastes sweet and syrupy with balsamic hints.”

SERVES: 4 as a starter


COOKING TIME: 20-30 minutes



• 24 stems asparagus (6 per portion)

• 4 slices Serrano ham

• Salt & pepper

• Olive oil

• Ice water

For the black garlic mayonnaise

• 2 free-range egg yolks

• 2 tsp Dijon mustard

• 250ml sunflower oil

• 2 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice

• 2 cloves black garlic crushed

For the poached eggs

• 4 free-range eggs

• 50g plain fl our

• Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a splash of water)

• 50g breadcrumbs



  1. To make the mayonnaise, tip the egg yolks and mustard into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk together until completely combined.
  2. Whisking constantly, add a small drop of oil and whisk until completely combined, then add another drop and continue a drop at a time until the yolks and oil combine and start to thicken. Once you’re confident the oil and eggs A delicious starter of seasonal asparagus, served with poached egg, ham and garlic mayonnaise are coming together you can add the oil a bit more at a time, but be patient, as adding the oil too quickly will cause the mayonnaise to split and curdle.
  3. Once all the oil has been whisked into the eggs and you have a thick, spoonable mayonnaise, whisk in the vinegar or lemon juice and black garlic, and season to taste. This will keep in the fridge for two days.
  4. For the asparagus, three-quarters fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Season with 2 tbsp salt, and add the asparagus. Boil for 1 minute. Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to ice water for 1 minute to stop the cooking process.
  5. Heat a griddle pan until hot. Drain and dry asparagus, then toss in 1 tsp olive oil, pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper. Griddle for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally. Set aside until needed.
  6. Place the Serrano ham on a flat, metal tray on baking parchment. Place in the oven on a low heat (100°C) for around 20-30 mins until crispy.
  7. Meanwhile, poach the eggs by half-filling a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add 3 tbsp white wine vinegar, then turn the temperature down to a gentle simmer.
  8. Crack the eggs one at a time into the pan. Turn the heat down low, and cook for three minutes – use a timer to prevent overcooking. Drain and dry the eggs.
  9. Either serve immediately or, if you have a deep fat fryer, coat the eggs in the fl our, then the egg wash, and finally the breadcrumbs. Deep fry at 190°C for 2 mins.
  10. Assemble and serve.


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