Neil’s Asparagus and Soft-Boiled Eggs, Watercress & Radish
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
16 asparagus spears
4 eggs, a few days old are easier to peel
a big bunch (about 80g) of British watercress
a few radishes (about 4)
4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
good salt and pepper
Veg Portions / Serving: 1
Recipe donated by Neil Forbes for Veg Power. Recipe by Neil Forbes. Photography by Paul Johnston | pauljohnsonphotography.co.uk
I love this asparagus and soft-boiled eggs recipe. Seasonal asparagus is so good, and always tastes best when treated simply. Just blanched in boiling salted water and dipped in melted butter is delightful. But here I have added a soft-boiled egg, some watercress and radishes. We grow wonderful asparagus here in Scotland, and buying as local as possible from where you are in the UK often means you save some money in the process!
Firstly, bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the eggs and cook on a rolling boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and refresh under cold running water. Whilst they are cooling peel them carefully.
Remove the bottom of the asparagus spears, roughly the last inch or two. Then peel two inches at the bottom of each spear to remove any woody parts. If it’s young asparagus, this may not be required.
Bring a pot of seasoned water to the boil and blanch the spears for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water and season.
To serve, arrange the asparagus on plates and garnish with a trickle of extra-virgin olive oil. Place an egg on top and cut to reveal the yolk. Garnish with a few watercress leaves and some slices of radish.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Get the kids to peel the eggs by rolling the eggs around on the table to crack the shell before they start peeling. Snapping the asparagus is also fun, and they can measure the oil, too.
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.