The best asparagus grows nearest home and reaches you without air miles, for a few short weeks in late May and June. It is so good it demands only the simplest of treatments, and is a natural partner to scrambled eggs.
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4 slices medium-thick white bread
1kg (2 lb 4oz) asparagus, trimmed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons anchovy essence
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
25g (1oz) butter
Method Prep:10min › Cook:20min › Ready in:30min
Heat the grill and toast the bread on both sides. Using a large, sharp knife, cut off the crusts, then split each slice in two horizontally. Cut each piece diagonally to give 16 triangles. Return the triangles to the grill, untoasted side up, and remove each piece from the heat as soon as it browns and curls. Pile into a napkin-lined dish to cool.
Cook the asparagus in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes, or until a sharp knife goes in easily just below the tip. Drain.
While the asparagus is cooking, put the eggs and anchovy essence into a bowl and beat. Put the milk and butter in a nonstick saucepan and swirl over a low heat until the butter melts. Add the beaten eggs and stir over a low heat until the eggs are lightly cooked but still very soft. Add plenty of black pepper.
Spoon the eggs onto warmed plates and arrange the asparagus spears on top. Serve with the toast.