Bruschetta is one of the most common starters in a typical italian meal. First of all, the pronunciation: “ch” is pronounced as “k”, and not as “sh” in the word “shop” – that’s wrong. Now that the pronunciation is clear…let’s talk about the real thing. Bruschetta is really any toasted bread topped with something: the most traditional ones are the tomato bruschetta, the garlic and oil bruschetta and the mushroom bruschetta. Though with a little bit of fantasy we can create hundreds of different types of toppings to prepare a simple and quick but outstanding starter.
Last weekend I went back to Umbria, my home Region in Italy, to see my family and friends. One evening I was invited for dinner by two very good friends of mine, Pippo and Lory, that have been practising in the kitchen for years and now have become really talented cooks.
They prepared the most original and delicious meal, and in the next weeks I will be sharing with you all the recipes of the dishes they’ve prepared. Today I’m starting with one of them, the egg, asparagus and ham bruschetta. This one is quite an alternative way of preparing a bruschetta (usually bruschetta is made with toasted bread), though it is so simple and quick and it looks and taste so good that I’m sure you will all try to cook it yourself very soon. Ingredients: All you need is (per person) is one slice of bread, one egg, a slice of cured ham and (optional) some asparagus. Oh…extra virgin olive oil is implicit.
Preparation: First of all, remove the crumb from each slice of bread, creating a hole in the middle.
Cook some chopped asparagus in a frying pan with some olive oil and a little bit of water. Don’t overcook them but just soften them a bit, otherwise they will become too soft and most of the vitamins in them will break down and get lost with the cooking. Also, if you have some wild asparagus (thinner than the farmed ones) then this is the recipe where you would use them: the stronger flavour perfectly matches the strong flavour of the cured ham that we will add.
Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot, add the slices of bread with the hole in the middle and let them cook until golden. Then flip them on the other side and not break one egg inside each of the brad holes, and let them cook. A quail egg is preferred to a chicken one simply because it is smaller and cooks more quickly; in this case, you can use two eggs per each bread slice.
Once the egg is cooked, place the bread slices on a dish as they are almost ready to be served. Add a rolled slice of cured ham on top and a spoon of cooked asparagus. The bruschetta is ready! Simple, isn’t it? It’s the perfect dish to start a rustic dinner party or to serve as a nibble during a BBQ. Absolutely delicious!
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 slices of cured ham (prosciutto)
- 4 chicken eggs or 8 quail eggs
- extra virgin olive oil
- Remove the crumb from the bread slices, creating a hole in the middle.
- Chop and stir fry the asparagus with olive oil and a bit of water until they are cooked but still a it crunchy.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and add the bread slices. Once golden, flip them and break one egg in the hole of each bread slice and let it cook.
- Once cooked, place the bread with the egg on a serving plate and top each slice with a slice of ham and a spoon of asparagus.
The ham (prosciutto) is salted enough and you shouldn't need any extra salt to season this dish.