I love asparagus. They’re healthy and full of flavour. I eat them just steamed with some lemon juice and olive oil, or use them in risottos or as an ingredient to prepare a creamy pasta sauce.
This dish though, inspired by a traditional recipe of my hometown, came through my mind since yesterday Tuttons restaurant in Covent Garden tweeted me in response of an Instagram picture I posted on Wednesday, suggesting me to come up with an asparagus recipe to get the chance to win a free dinner.
Since this dish is not very famous aside of my area of origin, I thought it might be an interesting and not so conventional option for a tasty appetiser.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- 150g asparagus tips
- 3 eggs
- 100g cooked ham
- 1 heaped tablespoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- fresh chives, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices ciabatta bread
Hard boil the eggs and in the meantime wash the asparagus tips under running water. Cut the hardest part off and steam them for 10 minutes to make them softer.
Cut the ham into strips and put them on a baking tray, season them with salt and pepper. Turn on the oven grill to 255ºC. Add the asparagus tips and grill everything for 10-15 minutes.
Now it’s time to prepare the Bolzano-style sauce. Chop the eggs finely, put them in a bowl, add mustard, vinegar and oil and mix. Add the chopped chives, season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well and set aside.
Take the asparagus out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Cut four 1 cm thick slices of bread and put them on the baking tray aside of the ham. Grill everything for further 10 minutes, turning the bread after 5 minutes to make sure it’s toasted on both sides. Alternatively, you can grill it on a hot grilling pan to have it bruschetta-style.
Put the asparagus on a plate, add the crispy ham and the slices of bread. Pour a couple of spoons of sauce on the asparagus and serve.