Soft-Boiled Eggs with Asparagus Soldiers
Cut the woody ends off the asparagus, and cook in a shallow saucepan of boiling water until tender but still has some bite - about 5 minutes. Then drain them and keep them warm while you cook the eggs.
In a saucepan, bring some water to the boil into which you have dropped a matchstick; according to my Aunt Frieda this stops the white from billowing out into the pan should the egg crack while cooking. Am I going to promise this works? Well, all families have their folklore.
Lower the eggs into the water and cook them at a steady boil for about 4 minutes. Take them out of the water and immediately slice the top of each one; the yolk should still be runny enough to dip the asparagus spears in.
Make sure that there's salt on the table for sprinkling into the almost aggressive blandness of the egg and spear, as you eat, with the warm asparagus.
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson, 2007