May 29, 2010

paprika potatoes and asparagus with spring garlic

Have you overdosed on asparagus yet this spring? I certainly have, and yet I can't resist picking up a fat bunch every time I make a trip to the farmers market. It's like the asparagus is stalking me or something (so corny, I couldn't resist.) But really, they're just so perfect right now -- the spears long and lean, with hardly any woodiness at their bases, the purplish tips firm and fresh and tightly closed. Every batch has been incredibly tender and sweet, I can't get enough. A couple of nights ago, my dinner was an entire (and we're not talking diminutive!) bunch of asparagus, sauteed and then tossed with arugula, radicchio, endive, a drizzle of olive oil, and shavings of pecorino. Quite delicious, and yet also quite frightening that I was capable of consuming an entire bunch of asparagus, by myself, in one sitting.

Then we arrive at this lovely Saturday morning, a mere 36 hours after the asparagus overdose dinner. Considering what to make for breakfast with an orphan potato and a single egg, the newest bunch (yes, I've managed to acquire more -- some especially beautiful specimens from a farm in Riverhead, Long Island) began calling to me from the crisper, suggesting a sizzling cast-iron dalliance with cubes of potato, smoky and Hungarian hot paprikas, and a fried egg. Since apparently my resistance is futile when it comes to asparagus, I went along for the delicious ride, even throwing in a couple of bulbs of spring garlic, thinly sliced to reveal the little embryonic cloves forming inside, for a hit of fresh, green garlicky flavor. A fantastic combination.

paprika potatoes and asparagus with spring garlic
and a fried egg, if you like
Cook this in a cast iron skillet, if possible -- something magical happens to potatoes in cast iron. Green beans would also be great in places of the asparagus.

extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 thin-skinned potato, such as Yukon gold, cut into small cubes (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1/4 lb of asparagus (10 spears or so), sliced into short lengths (about 3/4 cup)
2 bulbs spring garlic (green stalk discarded), thinly sliced (or scallions)
1 to 2 eggs (optional)
sea salt
black pepper

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When butter stops foaming, add potato cubes, a pinch of salt, and the paprika. Cook until the potatoes are golden brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Add asparagus and stir to combine. Add a very small amount of water (1 to 2 tsp), cover pan, and cook for about 3 minutes, until asparagus are tender. If any liquid remains in pan, cook uncovered for a few minutes to let it evaporate. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle spring garlic on top.
  3. If making the fried eggs: heat 2 tsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat, add eggs, and cook for about 5 minutes or to desired doneness (I like the whites firm and yolks still a little runny). 
  4. Arrange the fried eggs on top of the potatoes and asparagus, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Eat right away!


  1. This looks like an exciting sizzling combination. I've always enjoyed asparagus with eggs, and eggs with potatoes.

  2. Asparagus and eggs are always welcome here. Not overdosing on it all - when it's gone - it's really gone. Ours are big and fat right now - perfect for sauces and pasta. But I think I'll save a few for your potatoes and eggs - what a winning combination and I am savoring the photo.

  3. this looks absolutely delicious!!!
    I love the idea of paprika potatoes... it has a really nice ring to it too!

  4. Very Nice--I almost missed this! I like the egg addition
    and true hot smoky Hungarian paprika does remarkable things in simple fashion. I like that your asparagus came from Riverhead---I have cousins living on the North Shore (near Greenport) I have been through there several times, some beautiful farms.

  5. FLB - definitely a great combination, especially in spring. thanks!

    Claudia - I think my asparagus tolerance is waning, just one bunch for me this week! Glad you're enjoying the bounty.

    Lady Grey - yes paprika and potatoes belong together! such a great combination.

    Nancy - Isn't the North Fork beautiful? I went out there for the first time last October and loved it. Such gorgeous farms and vineyards. Can't wait to go back. So nice that you have family there!

  6. hello nanacy!!

    Brussels calling!! What a delightful meal!! Terrific flavours in here!