The Netherlands is one of the very few countries that have two days of Easter (and Christmas). It is actually kind of weird, because the event we are celebrating is only one day, but we spread it out over two days. It does give you an extra day off work and the possibillity to celebrate with both sides of the family for example. We did an elaborate brunch with the whole family on the first day and invited my grandparents for dinner on the second day. I wanted to make something that gives you the feeling of spring, so a light dinner with vegetables and flavors of the season. And what could be more appropriate than using asparagus at this time of the year? I don’t eat asparagus often, maybe twice a year or so, so it is a real treat to have it again. I chose to have salmon to go with the asparagus for a light companion. Poaching eggs was something I wanted to try for a long time already, as it seemed like a challenge to get the eggs just right, with a runny yolk inside. As poached eggs go very well with both asparagus and salmon I decided to add them to the dish as well. And an egg is the most Easter related food I could think of. Use eggs that are as fresh as possible for the best result. I found it not as hard as I thought it would be, the hardest part was estimating whether the eggs were ready or not. So definetely give it a try yourself! Something else I recently found are these purple potatoes. I love to roast them in the oven with some garlic and seasalt. The potatoes get a sweet, almost chocolate like taste after roasting, which is magnificent! And they add a nice color contrast to your plate. As you can tell, there are quite a lot of components to this dish. Don’t let them scare you though, because the components have only few steps in preparing them.
The ingredients for 5 people:
◾1 kilo of purple potatoes
◾3 spring onions
◾800 grams of asparagus
◾5 portions of salmon on the skin
◾seasalt and pepper
◾5 fresh eggs
◾a splash of vinegar
◾2 packages of asparagus sauce
Not that long of a list right?
So here’s how to prepare this spring dinner:
1: Start by cooking the potatoes for 10 minutes. Then drain them and let them cool doen a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
2: Make slices out of the potatoes and spread them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
3: Slice the spring onion and sprinkle it over the potatoes.
4: Then lightly drizzle olive oil over the potatoes, and generously sprinkle garlic powder and seasalt over them.
5: Place the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.
6: Start cooking the asparagus as soon as the potatoes are placed in the oven. Use a large pan where the asparagus can lay flat in, only just submerged in water. Add some salt. 7: Also start poaching the eggs at this time. I used two pans to do two at the same time. Let the water boil and then lower the heat untill it is just below boiling point. Add a splash of vinegar.
8: Break an egg into a small bowl.
9: Create a whirlpool in the pan using a whisk and gently pour the egg into the whirlpool.
10: Let it poach for at least 3 minutes. The egg white should be solid when you remove the egg from the pan. The yolk should still be a bit soft. Gently remove the egg from te pan and place the poached eggs in a bowl with warm water to keep them on temperature.
11: Start baking the salmon at the same time as the poaching of the eggs. Heat some olive oil in the pan and place the salmon skin side down in the pan. Sprinkle the top with seasalt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for about 3 minutes on the skin side.
12: Turn the salmon and bake for at least two minutes on the other side.
13: If you use a package of sauce, simply follow the instructions on the package and heat the sauce.
14: Dress the plates and sprinkle some dill on the salmon to finish it off. All of the different parts of this dish should be ready at almost the same time. It can be a bit hectic when you are poaching eggs, baking salmon and whisking a sauce all at the same time, do having someone around to help you can be nice. I did manage it on my own, but it wasn’t easy. And cooking together is much more fun anyway! Of course, you could make a fresh sauce, but I chose not to, because there is enough work to do with the other components and the one I had from Maggi tastes good as well. A lovely dinner for a nice spring weekend with just that little bit extra. Love, Emily