“I love taking advantage of the fresh ingredients that are available this time of year as spring produce makes its way to our farmer’s markets. Count yourself lucky if you can find local asparagus; asparagus takes three years to produce a reliable crop for sale. Local spring eggs are easier to come by, and they make this dish delectable. Country ham, aged for a year or more, can be more sublime than prosciutto or Serrano ham in a dish like this.”
– Chef Jay Pierce
Yield: 4 servings.
2 ounces of country ham, shaved paper thin
1 bundle of standard green asparagus (not jumbo, not pencil)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Warm cast iron skillet over medium heat. In a separate bowl, toss together asparagus, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Add to warm skillet. Move the asparagus around until heated through and tender.
8 farm eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 cups water
Heat water in a shallow pan to about 190 degrees. Add salt and vinegar. Swirl water with a slotted spoon, then crack eggs into the vortex. As eggs bob to the surface, gently prod them to determine when the white is fully cooked. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 small shallots, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground white pepper
Add all ingredients to mason jar, then securely seal the lid. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined.
1 cup french bread, cubed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a mixing bowl, toss bread with oil and salt. Add to warm skillet; heat through until golden. Transfer to a clean plate.
Divide cooked asparagus between four oblong plates. Place a fourth of the shaved ham in the center of the asparagus. Top the country ham with two poached eggs. Drizzle eggs with vinaigrette and garnish with croutons.
About Southern Season
Southern Season was founded in 1975 in an 800-square-foot space in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Our original focus was on roasting coffee but we soon became known for the breadth and quality of our gourmet food, wine, cheese, and cookware. We outgrew the original space and moved to a larger location nearby in the early 1980s, and then to our current 60,000-square-foot flagship location in 2003.
In 1992, we fulfilled our dream of opening a restaurant. Weathervane reflected our vision for Southern cuisine and commitment to service and hospitality. The 2003 move allowed for a larger patio and added more spaces, a mezzanine level and garden settings for receptions, parties, and meetings. Today, Weathervane is an integral partner of the distinctive marketplace that has become a Chapel Hill tradition.
To fully serve the gourmet lifestyle of our customers, we opened our first cooking school in 2003. Today, with schools in Chapel Hill and Charleston’s Mount Pleasant community, and another to follow this summer in Atlanta, we offer over hundreds of classes annually on a wide range of culinary subjects for cooks of all levels.
For years, customers asked when the company was expanding to other markets. First up was the Charleston area in 2013. In 2015, we launched a new concept and opened our smaller Taste of Southern Season store in Raleigh. A second Taste store will open in July in Asheville’s Biltmore Village, followed by a full-service store in Atlanta in August. Other Taste stores scheduled to open before Christmas 2016 include Wilmington and Southern Pines; Charlottesville, Va,; downtown Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.