As springtime slowly slips into summer, I rush to take advantage of my favorite veggies of this fleeting season: asparagus, agretti and fava beans. This kind of egg dish is so versatile, and can include any of your favorite veggies of the season. It’s important, however, than when preparing a dish that stars eggs as the main attraction, to use the best eggs you can find. Farm-fresh, free-range eggs from happy chickens make a world of difference, and notably improve the flavor and consistency of the final product. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables, but I encourage you to try this version right now, before the last agretti disappear for the summer!
Eggs with agretti, asparagus and feta
- 1 bunch of agretti (about 2 1/2 packed cups)
- 10 asparagi verdi
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 handful fresh fava beans, husked and peeled (optional)
- 1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
- 3.5 oz (100 g) feta cheese, cut into cubes
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon diced fresh dill (optional)
- 1 tablespoon diced fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, wash the agretti, removing hard stems. Wash the asparagus and discard the pale, woody part of the stalks. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces, separate the tips from the stalks for different cooking times.
When the water is boiling, add the agretti and cook for 3 minutes, then add the chopped asparagus stalks and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Lastly, add the asparagus tips and continue cooking until the tips are just tender, about another 3-4 minutes. Drain the vegetables and transfer them immediately to an ice bath to preserve their bright green colors. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron skillet (or any pan that can also go in the oven). Add the sliced shallot and cook until softened, then add the agretti and asparagus and continue to cook, mixing well. Add the peeled fava beans, the grated lemon zest and the feta cheese and continue to cook for a couple minutes. Make four indentions in the veggies and gently crack eggs into the indentions. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with dill and parsley, and serve immediately.