Here's a recipe inspired by the traditional Milanese preparation of asparagus with an egg.
It's an opportunity, for those of you who were curious a few weeks ago, to use duck eggs, a preparation Mario Batali suggests.
Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg & Parmesan
1 Tbsp. olive oil
20 asparagus spears, trimmed (or tough ends snapped off)
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon unflavored vinegar
4 large very fresh eggs (duck eggs would be nice here too)
1 2-ounce piece Parmesan cheese, shaved into thin strips
(optional: 4 strips thinly sliced prosciutto)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss asparagus with oil in small roasting dish then nestle together in dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle bread crumbs over; roast until another 5 minutes. Divide among 4 plates. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with vinegar and salt. Lower the flame until to a gentle simmer. With a spoon, stir water in a circular motion to form a whirlpool in the center. Crack an egg into a cup. Lift the cup with one hand while you are stirring with your other hand, and as you stop stirring, ease the egg into the very center of the whirlpool. Repeat for the second egg.
Cook 3 1/2 to 4 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and gently transfer 1 egg to atop asparagus on each plate.
Arrange several shavings of parmesan and optional strips of prosciutto over each serving, season with salt and pepper, and serve.