According to seventeenth-century teacher and publisher Giacomo Castelvetro, asparagus ‘cannot harm any part of the human body’. He was also very keen on sprinkling it with bitter orange juice once grilled, which wouldn’t do any harm, either.
Bend the fibrous ends of the asparagus, and they will snap naturally at the right point for trimming. Brush asparagus lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a ribbed grill until hot, and grill asparagus for five to ten minutes, turning once, until tender.
Peel eggs and gently remove yolks from whites. Chop yolks and whites separately until finely diced. Cut the olive meat away from the stone, and finely chop.
Arrange grilled asparagus on a large platter. Scatter with a layer of egg white, then egg yolk, then black olive, so that the colours form a strong contrast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.