Spring is finally here and the asparagus is in season, with its beautiful green stalks and familiar earthy fragrance. When purchasing these beauties, look for firm stalks and closed tips. Asparagus should be used within 2 days of purchase and can be stored with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel. You can peel the stalks for a sleek plated presentation, but it is not necessary. You’ll need to just snap one stalk at its breaking point and then cut the remainder of the bunch to match that cut stalk. This dish is very simple to make and can have many variations – you could steam the asparagus and wrap the spears in prosciutto, just drizzle olive oil over the dish instead of the chive oil or skip the meat all together. It is a delicious lunch or a great appetizer. Happy Spring!
Blend the extra-virgin olive oil, chives, and lemon juice (zest your lemon before cutting open) in blender or processor until smooth. Stir in the grated lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can make the chive oil by hand with a whisk. The chive oil can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before using.
There are a few ways to poach eggs, but this way works well and you can make the poached eggs ahead. Fill a large bowl with ice water and ice, and set aside. Pour enough water into a large skillet to reach a depth of 1 inch. Bring water to a slow simmer over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons vinegar to the skillet. Carefully crack each egg into individual ramekins. Gently slide 1 egg at a time into simmering water. Cook until whites are just set, about 3 -4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, very gently transfer eggs to the bowl with ice water, being careful not to break eggs.
Preheat the broiler. Spread the asparagus spears in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn asparagus to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil asparagus for about 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender and beginning to brown. Divide asparagus among your plates and drape prosciutto slices over. Using a slotted spoon, place an egg atop each serving of asparagus and prosciutto. Drizzle the chive oil over and around each plate.