Because we eat at home almost every night and since we tote all of our lunches to work with us, sandwiches frequent our menus. The real reality is this: if we can slather a condiment on a bread product, add a protein and maybe a veggie, and either eat it open-faced or top it with another bread product, this item will find a rotation in our home.
We make pasta, grains, beans, tacos, soups, and salads just like everybody else, but when push comes to shove, sandwiches are our go-to fill-in meal when we don’t have energy, time, produce, or brain power for anything different. I won’t complain; we eat some pretty fine sandwiches.
Last week, I prepared my first hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict with Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto. Not hard. Even though it looks fancy, the most difficult part of this dish is remembering to roast the asparagus.
This is good stuff, in case you can’t tell from the photo. Toasted English muffin + prosciutto (I love this as a stand in for the bacon/ham) + roasted asparagus (tender and toasty and fresh all at once) + poached egg + decadent sauce = stomach-pleasing brunch or dinner. Serve it with a fruit salad and you’ll be a hero.
Eggs Benedict with Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto
Yield: 2 servings
for roasted asparagus:
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, woody ends snapped off and spears cut in half lengthwise
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick + 2 Tablespoons)
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 English muffins (I used whole wheat)
Dijon mustard (optional)
4 slices of prosciutto di Parma
To roast the asparagus, preheat the oven to 425°. Pour a small glug of olive oil onto a baking sheet and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus and mix well to coat with the oil and seasonings. Make sure the asparagus are in a single layer and roast, checking and stirring every 10 minutes, until just beginning to be quite dark in some places but still not flabby. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the hollandaise, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat without browning it. Put the egg yolks in a blender with 1-1/2 tablespoons of water, the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and blend until foamy (I used my immersion blender very carefully for this part). With the blender running, pour in the butter in a slow stream until the hollandaise is thick and yellowish. Set the sauce aside.
To poach the eggs, fill a large, high-sided skillet 2/3 full of lightly salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to a simmer. Crack each egg into a custard cup. Carefully lower one custard cup into the water (make sure the base of the cup is in the water), then gently tip the egg into the water (you don’t want the egg to spread out, so use as much tact as you can muster). Repeat this process with the second egg and cook the eggs for three minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, toast the English muffins. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on them if you fancy it. Fold two prosciutto slices onto each bottom muffin half, then bunch a handful of asparagus spears atop that. Gently place a poached egg on top of the asparagus, and spoon some hollandaise over the whole works. I preferred to serve mine open-face, and added a little of the hollandaise to the top muffin halves.