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!

6 comments:

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

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  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!

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  6. hello nanacy!!

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

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