We were fortunate to find some enormous green asparagus. Asparagus is a vegetable that lends itself to peeling, paring down and trimming. Some of this is done to improve eat-ability, some for aesthetic effect. Over the years we have turned to less full on peeling of asparagus and more to trimming the leaflets on the asparagus stalks which cover and protect new growth. These triangular pieces are tough and feathery and just not fun to to eat. The trimmed vegetables look wonderful, the sharp clean edge and the exposed white interior contrasting with the bright green stalk.
Years ago we cut troughs in large asparagus and filled them with wild char roe. Eventually we tired of this and moved on. Since we happened to have some beautiful eggs on hand when the asparagus turned up, we began playing with that combination. Instead of peeling the stalks we opted to hollow out the bases and trim the beautiful tip ends. We used a stainless steel cylinder to punch out the core of these thick stalks. Once the stems were hollowed we set about stuffing them with slow cooked egg yolks seasoned with salt, cayenne and walnut oil. To serve the asparagus we enjoy the char of the grill, but the grilling process is not always gentle enough for our purposes. In this case we warmed the asparagus in a low oven and then used a torch to generate the char we were looking for. (as an afterthought, a brushing of smoked oil or smoked chicken fat would have been an excellent finishing touch.) We served the asparagus with a roasted chicken vinaigrette and pieces of charred garlic chives. The dish captures the essence of spring from growth to grill in a delicate preparation.