Francesco Mazzei's warm egg salad recipe could be served either as a light lunch dish or savoury brunch, with both scrambled and soft-boiled eggs featuring alongside a plethora of Mediterranean ingredients – black olives, anchovies, and spicy dried red chillies. Extra crunch comes from crispy fried onion rings, while delicate wild asparagus spears form a tender backdrop.
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Bring a large pan of water to the boil over a medium heat. Gently lower 6 of the eggs into the water and cook for 6 minutes
Meanwhile, soak the onion rings in the milk for a few minutes as the eggs cook
1 onion, cut into rings
200ml of milk
Once the eggs have cooked, cool immediately in a bowl of iced water. Remove the shells and set aside until ready to serve
Preheat a deep-fryer with the oil
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Drain the soaked onion rings and liberally dust with plain flour to coat. Deep-fry in the hot oil until golden and crisp, draining any excess oil on kitchen paper
plain flour, for dusting
Deep-fry the whole dried chillies in the hot oil for a few seconds, then leave to drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with a little salt and set aside
10 dried chillies
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat and briefly blanch the wild asparagus spears until just tender. Drain and refresh in iced water
200g of wild asparagus spears
Crack the remaining 6 eggs into a bowl and beat together. Place a non-stick pan over a medium-low heat and scramble the eggs, gently pouring the beaten eggs into the pan and keeping the mixture moving with a spatula as it cooks
To serve, divide the scrambled eggs evenly between serving plates. Halve the boiled eggs and add 3 halves to each plate before scattering over the olives, anchovies, asparagus, crispy onions and chillies. Garnish with some fresh herbs and a little grated lemon zest to serve
100g of black olives, pitted
8 anchovy fillets
mixed herbs, to garnish
lemon zest, grated, to garnish
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