Friday, April 11, 2014

Prosciutto, Gruyere and Egg Toasts

Last Year's Post:  Cotswold Quiche
Two Years Ago:   Tabbouleh and Greek Chicken

This recipe is adapted from a very popular dish served at A.O.C. Wine Bar in Los Angeles.  Although I can see that it would be very good as a light dinner at a wine bar, I think it's even better as an elegant brunch entree.   The wine bar owner recommends serving it with a bright, berry-scented sparkling rose wine, or I think Champagne would be equally good.  Add some fresh fruit, french pastry, coffee and fruit juice to round out the meal for a beautiful Easter or Mother's Day brunch.

In case you're not familiar with frisee (free-say), it's a beautiful, lacy lettuce that doesn't get limp when tossed with dressing.  I often add it to other salad greens for texture and because it's so pretty.  You can often find it upscale grocers like Whole Foods.  If you can't find frisee, watercress or baby arugula leaves would make a good substitute.

Cut the core off and wash like any other lettuce.  I like to mix the outer darker leaves and inner lighter leaves for contrast.  Just be sure to chop them up into bite-sized pieces or they can be a little unwieldy to try to eat whole.

The toasts are fast and easy to make - just toast up some bread, fry some eggs, toss the salad, and melt some cheese.  Although the recipe calls for leaving the egg yolks runny it's easy to cook the eggs to everyone's preference.

printable recipe
Prosciutto, Gruyere and Egg Toasts
Serves 6

6 slices of Italian, sourdough or farmhouse white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter for brushing
6 ounces frisee, torn into bite-size pieces (3 cups)
¼ cup lightly packed parsley leaves
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 large eggs
½ lb Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
12 thin slices of prosciutto (6 ounces)

Preheat the broiler.  Brush both sides of the bread slices with softened butter and arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Broil the bread 8 inches from the heat, turning once, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes total.  Leave the broiler on.

In a medium bowl, toss the frisee with the parsley, green onions, lemon juice and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in each of two large nonstick skillets.  Crack 3 eggs into each skillet and cook sunny side up over moderate heat, until the whites are firm and the yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Top the toasts with the Gruyere, covering as much of them as possible with the cheese.  Broil 8 inches from the heat for about 3 minutes, watching closely, until the cheese has melted.  Transfer the toasts to plates.  Top with the frisee salad, prosciutto slices and fried eggs.  Serve at once.

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