8 -10 asparagus spears per person (approx. 3.5 pounds)
1 tsp. salt
4 whole eggs & 4 egg yolks
8 slices boiled ham
4 Tbs. dry white wine (e.g. Pinot Blanc d’ Alsace)
1 cup melted butter
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt and white pepper
2 Tbs. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Soak the asparagus in cold water as soon as you get them home. Rinse and peel with a potato peeler (start from the head and work your way down). Cut the woody bit off the end. Place the asparagus and salt in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and leave the asparagus in the hot water for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, boil 4 of the eggs and chop finely. Slice the ham into fine strips.
For the Hollandaise, beat egg yolks and wine until foamy. Place on a low heat and beat continuously until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add the melted butter in a thin trickle, while continuing to whisk. Add the nutmeg, lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Whisk again, and set aside.
Gently drain the cooked asparagus. Be careful not to damage the tender heads. Plate them up, making sure the asparagus are facing in the same direction, and top with the Hollandaise sauce, chopped ham and boiled eggs. Scatter parsley over and serve with the rest of the chilled wine.