Yesterday's bread became today's sandwich. Doesn't it look delicious? It really was. Asparagus seems to be my vegetable of choice these days so when I came across this recipe is wasn't a question of how, but when. As I mentioned, I am going to be doing a bit more budget cooking in the next few weeks and you may see less posts, but one of the keys to keeping me going is my well-stocked pantry. I emptied out my freezer a bit, but I still had a package of prosciutto and since I always have things like eggs on hand, this didn't break the bank too much. Besides, anything to give a chance to practice my poaching skills is welcomed! I found the directions to be a little strange, but took the basic components and broke it down to what I have below. I actually liked that the cheese didn't cover the whole sandwich. The poached egg was really good with the slight garlicky flavor on the toast and there was just enough salty prosciutto to bring it all together. In the interest of saving a few calories and fat grams, I didn't drizzle the sandwich with extra oil, but I didn't feel that I missed anything. This would be an excellent addition to your weekend brunch.
Asparagus, Poached Egg, Prosciutto, and Fontina Cheese Sandwich
(Adapted from Nancy Silverton)
Makes 1 sandwich
4 stalks large asparagus, tough ends broken off
Extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 slice honey wheat bread (or whatever bread you have, the original recipe calls for sourdough)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 large egg
3 ounces Fontina or Gruyere cheese, sliced into 4 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 slice prosciutto
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and lay down the thyme sprigs. Toss the asparagus with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast 10-15 until tender, but still firm.
Rub one side of the bread with the garlic clove, and toast until lightly golden. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler
Arrange the asparagus over each slice of bread and place on a baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Turn the heat down to just below a simmer and add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Crack an egg into a small bowl to check that the yolk isn’t broken. Slowly stir the water in one direction to create a whirlpool effect. Once the whirlpool has slowed down a little, carefully slide the egg into the water against the side of the pan, following the current of the water as you pour the egg in, so that the white envelops the yolk. Poach the egg for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are runny. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon to a plate to drain. Cupping the eggs in your hand, tip the plate to pour off the excess water.
Place the egg centered over the asparagus. Drape a slice of Fontina cheese over each egg, and heat the sandwiches under the broiler for a minute or so, just until the cheese is melted.
Remove the sandwiches from the oven, and crumble the prosciutto over the sandwich. Drizzle a little olive oil over, sprinkle with pepper, and place a thyme sprig on each sandwich if desired.