recipe: asparagus, prosciutto and eggs

The simplest recipes can sometimes be the most satisfying and certain food pairings seem to be made for each other. Asparagus and a runny egg is just one of those hero pairings. These tender green stems herald the warmer Spring months and need little to bring out the best in them, so grab some now to try this satisfyingly simple and light lunch dish which is perfect for a summer brunch.

A hollandaise sauce is a luxurious accompaniment to asparagus but many of us may not have the patience or inclination to make one at home. That’s where a perfectly poached egg comes into play; the runny yolk adding the rich and velvety feel of hollandaise with much less fuss.

If you are feeling a little adventurous and its a sunny day then make use of your bbq for this recipe, otherwise a home griddle pan with do the job nicely.

Ingredients – serves 2

  • 4 slices of sourdough
  • Olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g asparagus
  • 50g prosciutto (Parma ham)
  • Malt vinegar

Method

  1. Heat your griddle pan (or bbq) on a high heat until almost smoking.
  2. Drizzle both sides of the bread with oil and rub in so that each piece is evenly covered.  Place the bread on the griddle, turning until toasted on both sides. Remove and keep warm in the oven (or top rack of your bbq).
  3. Meanwhile trim the woody ends from your asparagus. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the asparagus and place on a tray. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper ensuring that the spears are relatively evenly coated. Place your asparagus on the griddle (or the bbq) and allow to char, turning now and then, for 4-5 minutes.
  5. As your asparagus is cooking, also add your prosciutto to the griddle pan. As it is thin it will cook quickly, remove as soon as it is crispy and place with the bread.
  6. Add a good amount of malt vinegar (about 1 tbsp) to the pan of water that you poached your asparagus in. The water should be very lightly simmering (do not have it on a rolling boil).
  7. Drop each egg into the water from a height, moving in a clockwise direction. Poach for 2-3 minutes.
  8. As your eggs are cooking, place the bread on each plate, top with the asparagus and proscuitto. Remove the eggs from the pan and place on top of the asparagus. Enjoy!

TIP: when poaching a number of eggs, add them to the pan in a clock wise direction starting at 12 o’clock. You can then remove them in the same order which should ensure that the eggs are evenly cooked without you having to remember which one went in first!

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