Asparagus a la Polonaise in Butter and Breadcrumbs

Szparagi po polsku z masłem i bułką tartą

Asparagus “à la Polonaise” is one of our favourite answers to the question of the quick springtime side dish. 

In this classic recipe, green or white stalks are tossed in butter-toasted breadcrumbs and sprinkled with chopped hard-boiled egg yolks and parsley leaves.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Polonaise Sauce (“À la Polonaise”) is a way of serving dishes with a crispy, buttery breadcrumb garnish.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment?

No, as long as the asparagus is in season, everything else should be easily available in any well-stocked supermarket.

In Poland, asparagus is available all year round, but the season runs from May until the end of June. That’s when asparagus is at its best.

Choose a bunch of asparagus with straight stems, and avoid those wrinkly, dry ones with split or overly woody ends.

Ingredients for Asparagus Polonaise

Equipment-wise, you’ll need:

  • vegetable peeler – but a sharp knife will do just fine.
  • wide skillet (frying pan), ideally with a lid (or a tall asparagus steamer, if you own one)
  • smaller skillet (frying pan)

What to serve it with?

Asparagus à la Polonaise can be served as a side dish, alongside:

For a delicious vegetarian meal, serve it with young boiled potatoes, lightly sprinkled with chopped dill, together with a glass of cold Soured Milk.

Can you make it another way?

Sure, here’s how you could do this differently:

  • cook the asparagus your favourite way; by broiling, roasting or in a tall asparagus steamer
  • replace butter with olive oil
  • use homemade rye crumbs or flaky panko
  • instead of hard-boiling the egg, try poaching or frying it
  • dice whole boiled eggs (rather than just yolks)

What diets is it suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians. 

How long can you keep it in the fridge?

Once you’ve served the asparagus, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate them in a container with a lid. Alternatively, leave the asparagus on the serving plate and wrap it with cling film. Aim to consume within 3 days.

Can I freeze it?

No, this recipe doesn’t freeze well.

How do I reheat it?

We don’t recommend reheating this dish. It’s best to enjoy any leftovers cold, for example – as a part of a salad.

Asparagus a la Polonaise in Butter and Breadcrumbs

Recipe: step by step

Asparagus Polonaise

Asparagus à la Polonaise in Butter and Breadcrumbs

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (1 lb, 500-500 g) asparagus, green or white
  • salt, for cooking
  • sugar, for cooking
  • small piece of lemon zest, optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Toppings:

  • 2-3 egg yolks, hard-boiled and finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

    1. Rinse the asparagus under cold running water. There’s no need to peel green asparagus, but if you’re using the white stalks, it’s worth peeling off their woody exterior with a vegetable peeler. Snap off and discard the woody ends (wherever they naturally break). 

    Shallow boiling

    1. Add 1” (2.5-3 cm) of water to a wide frying pan (skillet) and bring it to a boil with a solid pinch of salt, sugar and a small piece of lemon zest (optional). Note: If you own a tall asparagus steamer, use it instead.
    2. Add the asparagus in. If the water doesn't cover the asparagus completely, cover the skillet with a lid (to capture the heat of the steam).

    Pro tip: The cooking time will depend on their size and freshness. Cook until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes depending on thickness: 3 minutes for very thin, 5 minutes for average, 6-7 minutes for thicker and older stalks. As you wait, prepare the topping.

    For Polonaise sauce / topping

    1. In a small frying pan, melt two tablespoons of butter and add breadcrumbs. Gently fry until golden, over low heat, stirring from time to time. At the very end, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Final touches

    1. Remove asparagus from the heat and drain. Toss with the butter and breadcrumbs, and sprinkle with finely chopped egg yolks and parsley leaves. Serve immediately.
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 400mgSodium: 479mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g

    Polish name: Szparagi po polsku
    Pronunciation: shpara-ghee poh polskoo
    Cuisine: Polish
    Region / Subregion: all-Polish
    Other traditional or regional names:
    Also known as (including misspellings): asparagus with breadcrumbs, asparagus in butter, Polish asparagus