Master chef Willis is usually pretty creative when determining what we will be eating on a weekly basis. He oftentimes enjoys combining two different recipes to achieve the recipe he would actually like to make, which is the case here. He used one for the polenta and pesto, and the other for the asparagus and eggs. It’s amazing how he can determine what recipes will work perfectly together, because this dish turned out awesome! Not only was it gorgeous to look at, but it tasted pretty fantastic too. The fresh herbs that were in a leafier pesto gave such a bright flavor to the meal. Plus, asparagus at this time of year is always a delight. And the polenta turned out to be a nice substitute for grits and didn’t quite have that “heavy” grits flavor.
Cooking Notes: We didn’t make a thick pesto because our food processor broke the other week 🙁 However, for the most part, besides combining the recipes, we left their ingredients and cooking methods intact.
Asparagus, Eggs, and Polenta (adapted from The Kitchn and Happy Yolks; serves 2)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
2 cups polenta
8 cups water
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
3/4 tsp salt
1 bundle asparagus
Make the pesto by mixing the fresh herbs in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in olive oil and season with S&P, mixing until homogenous. Set aside to use later!
For the polenta, heat water in a large pot and when boiling, slowly pour in the polenta. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally, until polenta has absorbed water. Take the pot off the heated stovetop and stir in shredded cheese and salt. Season with more salt and some pepper. Cover and set aside until everything else is done.
For the asparagus, lay the stalks out on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, fresh ground S&P, and the zest of one lemon. Broil on the top rack for no more than 5 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside until serving.
Lastly, poach the eggs! Prepare water in a deep pan, bringing just to a boil. Create a vortex in the center by whisking a fork in a counter-clockwise direction. Once you’ve got enough speed, set down the fork and quickly crack the egg into the middle of the whirlpool you’ve created. Cook egg(s) for 4 minutes.
Serve polenta, topped with asparagus, topped with egg, ultimately topped with that pesto you made at the beginning and enjoy!