Hard boil the eggs in briskly simmering water for 9 minutes, then plunge into cold water.
Set under a trickling tap for 3 minutes, or until completely cooled. Peel the eggs, remove the yolks and, using the back of a spoon, press the yolks through a metal sieve. Cover with clingfilm and reserve. Finely chop the whites and keep covered in a separate bowl.
Whizz the bread slices to a medium crumb in a food processor and set aside.
Cut the woody bases off the asparagus spears and cook in rapidly boiling salted water for 3–5 minutes – depending on their thickness – or until just tender, but with a slight bite. In the meantime, heat the butter in a large frying pan and add the white pepper.
When the butter stops foaming, tip in the breadcrumbs and fry over a medium heat until crunchy and a light golden colour (the crumbs will continue to cook after you remove them from the heat, so whip them off well before they begin to darken). Cool for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped egg whites and parsley.
Season with salt to taste.
Drain the asparagus in a colander, pat dry with kitchen paper, pile onto a large warmed platter and squeeze over the lemon juice. Tip the breadcrumb mixture over the spears and toss gently to coat. Scatter with the sieved yolks and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission of Scrumptious SA
and published by Random House Struik