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Duck's egg with asparagus soldiers

Serves four, as served at The Rivington Bar & Grill

Mark Hi
Friday 20 April 2007 00:00 BST

Fresh asparagus is an excellent foil for rich, soft-boiled duck eggs. Serve as an elegant starter, brunch or snack.

900g (2lb) medium to thick asparagus
4 duck eggs (or ordinary hen's eggs)
sea salt

To prepare the asparagus, cut or break off the woody ends. Peel the stalks with a fine swivel vegetable peeler, starting about 5cm (2in) down from the tips. Set aside. Carefully lower the eggs into a pan of boiling water and boil for six minutes for duck eggs (or four to five minutes for ordinary hen's eggs). Meanwhile, add the asparagus to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for four to five minutes until tender. Cut the tops from the eggs and sit the eggs in egg cups. Drain the asparagus and arrange in bundles next to the eggs, for dipping. Serve with a little pile of Maldon sea salt.

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