A few years ago I tried employing a few new techniques to learn how to be comfortable relaxing. Seems absurd to think that one would need TO LEARN how to relax, but it is the truth. In my business career I had to learn to run at an extremely fast cadence. I found that I could quickly outrun the others with my stamina, and ability to juggle multiple commitments from work and my family life. It was my strength.
I am learning that slowing down and living in the moment is pretty darn amazing. And every meal, much like every conversation, doesn’t need to be intense. Even race car drivers know that you can’t always ‘run in the rain’; if your tires are frayed or your mind is elsewhere, everything changes. What is important is to go where your eyes go – meaning set your sights on your goal and make it a reality.
This week’s journey of food took me to explore some wonderful flavors that underscore the thoughts I shared with you above. It is a lovely meal that doesn’t require gobs of time and effort, it is not an intense preparation, but if your sights are on good food and good flavors you’ll certainly enjoy making this dish.
As they say at Ferrari on the race track- La macchina va dove vanno gli occhi. (The car goes where your eyes go.) Set your sights on what’s most important and make it a personal goal.
Spinach and Lemon Poached Eggs with Asparagus
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 TBS Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon peel (one lemon)
3 TBS lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup live oil
24 thin stemmed asparagus
6-8 poached eggs
1 tsp white vinegar
In a food processor combine spinach, slivered almonds, Parmesan cheese, lemon rind and juice, and garlic. Pulse on and off until it is well blended. With motor running add olive oil in a stead stream until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Note: this will keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, and in the freezer for 4 months.
Remove stems from asparagus. Add 2 TBS water, over medium high heat add asparagus and cover with a lid for 3-5 minutes. Checking to see that water does not evaporate. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and pan fry asparagus, turning regularly, until lightly crisp. Turn off heat but allow pan to remain on warm burner. Place lid on top to keep the asparagus warm while preparing the eggs.
To prepare plates dot pesto around the dish and add asparagus. Once cooked, eggs will be placed gently on top.
To poach eggs:
Using a non-stick high-sided pan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. Add vinegar to keep the egg whites from spreading out too thin. Reduce water to a low simmer. Crack eggs into small individual bowls, this will help to keep their shape, allowing more room in the pan. Slip the eggs into the water, working clockwise so that it is easier to keep track of which eggs are cooked first. Cover pan with lid and cook for 4 minutes. The trick to successfully poaching eggs is a low gentle heat that gives the eggs a firm white loose soft yolk. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon, gently shaking off any excess water. Note: If a slotted spoon is not available drain eggs onto a paper towel and transfer them onto asparagus plates. This method is a lot messier and potentially riskier in terms of potentially breaking the yolk.
Place eggs on top of asparagus and add a sprinkle of paprika and chili flakes.