When the Romans saw something they wanted, they just whipped out their spears and made it their own. It is the ease with which the Romans could simply lift a leg and march on a city that ranked the Romans as number one amongst their peers.
Asparagus was once free and wild as the breeze it swung in, but when the Romans got a taste for this wee wild grass, they captured and cultivated it for their pleasure. As Roman soldiers continued to assertively mark their territory throughout the known world, so did asparagus following in the soldiers’ tracks.
However, long after the last Roman legions trickled out, asparagus continued to flow steadily throughout the Middle East, modern Europe and eventually made its course across the ocean to the Americas.
Today we can commemorate another asparagus season with this recipe for toast soldiers, asparagus spears and soft-boiled eggs.
12 asparagus spears
juice and zest of one lemon
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
salt and pepper
2 pieces of bread
PROCEDURETo cook the asparagus
Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Hold an asparagus by each end in your fingertips. Bend the asparagus, applying slightly more pressure to the fat end until the asparagus snaps. Wherever it snaps is the perfect spot. You can chuck the fat ends and toss all the spears in a single layer in an ovenproof dish. Dirzzle on some olive oil, the zest and juice of one lemon and season with salt and pepper. Toss them with your hands to coat and get them in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip them half way through the cooking.
To soft boil eggs
Get all four eggs in a small pot and submerge by ½-inch in cold water. Get the pot on the stove over high heat. When the little bubbles begin to break the surface 6 at a time, turn on your timer to exactly 4.5 minutes. If the water starts to boil really vigorously, you can turn it down a bit so the eggs don’t get too rattled.
When 4.5 minutes is up, drain the eggs immediately and use a sharp knife to crack them open. Start with a little tap to break the shell, then a quick hard cut to go all the way through. Season the runny yolk generously with salt and pepper.
To make the toast soldiers
Place the bread in a toaster and hit the magic toast button. Pretty soon the toaster will spit out some toast. Apply butter to the toast, then cut it into 4 long strips, or toast soldiers.
Serve eggs in an egg cup along with 3 toast soldiers and 6 asparagus spears.[gallery] Four number ones
Modern scientists do not have any conclusive evidence regarding the effects of asparagus on urine. No one has quite been able to narrow down the compound responsible for causing malodorous urine after consuming asparagus. It could be dimethyl sulfide or S-methylthioacrylate… personally I think it’s the methanethiol.
The greater mystery is how and why it affects people in different ways. Only some people produce the sulfurous smelling urine after consuming asparagus but, to complicate things, not every one who produces the odour is able to smell it. Resulting in four 'dis-tinked' catagories
Those who produce the odour but cannot smell it Those who do not produce the odour and cannot smell it Those who produce the odour and can smell it Those who do not produce the odour but can smell it in other peoples’ urine
More research is clearly needed on this subject ...