Charred white and green asparagus with pickled egg yolk and pesto


This bright and verdant asparagus recipe was inspired by chef Josh Eggleton's trip to Zurich in Switzerland. White and green asparagus spears are charred, before being dressed with a flavourful pesto and a finely sliced asparagus tartare. The egg yolk is brined and then pickled, retaining its beautifully oozy texture within.

First published in 2019




Pickled egg yolks




Begin by making the brine for the egg yolks. Combine the water, salt, 25g of the caster sugar, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Regularly stir the mixture to ensure the sugar doesn’t catch on the bottom. Cover and set aside to cool
Make the pickling liquor at the same time. Place the white wine vinegar, remaining 200g of caster sugar and pickling spice in a separate pan and heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring regularly. Cover and allow to cool, then pass through a fine sieve into a container. Set aside
  • 300g of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp pickling spice
Preheat an oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and cook for 6 minutes, then set aside to cool. Wrap the garlic bulb and shallot in foil and cook for 30 minutes, then set aside to cool
While the nuts and garlic are roasting, separate the egg yolks and submerge them in the cooled brine. Cover and leave for 30 minutes
For the asparagus, bring a large pan of heavily salted water (it should smell like the sea) to the boil. Blanch 300g of the white asparagus and 300g of the green asparagus for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl of iced water. After 10 minutes, drain and place on kitchen paper to dry
Place the cooled nuts in a blender and blitz until coarse. Cut the root end off the garlic bulb and shallot and, using the back of a knife, squeeze out the soft caramelised insides from their skins. Add this to the blender along with the chopped herbs, lemon juice, Parmesan and a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper
Start blitzing the pesto ingredients whilst slowly drizzling in the rapeseed oil, until you achieve a loose dressing-like consistency. Taste and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to balance the flavours, if required
Once the egg yolks have been in the brine for 30 minutes, use a slotted spoon to carefully lift them out and place them in the pickling liquor. For a runny yolk, pickle them for 30 minutes, or leave for longer for a harder texture
Finely slice the remaining white and green asparagus and place in a mixing bowl with the diced shallot. Season with a large pinch of salt
Place a large griddle or frying pan over a very high heat (or light a barbecue). Drizzle rapeseed oil over the blanched asparagus spears and place in the pan, cooking until lightly charred. Flip and continue cooking until charred all over
Meanwhile, dress the sliced asparagus mix with rapeseed oil and lemon juice and carefully lift the egg yolks out of the pickling liquor, placing on kitchen paper to dry
Divide the asparagus spears between 4 plates and top with an egg yolk. Spoon over the sliced asparagus then drizzle over the pesto. Season with pepper and serve

It can take decades of dedication and dogged effort to win a Michelin star. Josh Eggleton, though, was ‘shocked’ to win his first Michelin star at the age of 27, after only a few years of being a Head Chef.

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