Photograph: Jean Cazals
Although in the UK we usually think of “prosciutto” as a particular kind of sweet-tasting cured meat, it’s actually just Italian for ham – in Italy they distinguish between cotto (cooked) and crudo (cured), with the most famous variety of the later coming from Parma. But the crudo method can be applied to other meats, and duck prosciutto retains the rich but delicate flavour of the bird as well as the high levels of protein.
Make the effort to find duck eggs, which are packed with quality fats and nutrients, to go with the duck prosciutto – you won’t regret it. (Although you can use hen’s eggs and regular prosciutto and it’ll still be delicious.)
Ingredients (for one)
- 5-6 asparagus spears: choose large, thick green asparagus
- 1-2 fresh duck eggs: good-quality chicken eggs are an acceptable substitute
- 4-6 thin slices duck prosciutto: ham prosciutto may be substituted
- 30g freshly grated parmesan
- 5g unsalted butter and chopped garlic
- 1tsp olive oil: plus more for drizzling
- Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ lemon
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Snap off and discard the woody bases from the asparagus. In a large bowl, toss the spears with the oil, garlic and salt to taste. Make sure the oil covers the asparagus evenly.
- Cook the asparagus on the grill (with the lid down if you have one) for five minutes, turning it just once – you want some char marks from the grill bars to help cut the richness of the eggs and cheese.
- Place a large cast-iron or nonstick pan over a medium-high heat, add the butter and heat until it begins to foam. Crack the eggs into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook them until the whites are opaque but the yolks are still runny. Remove the eggs to kitchen paper.
- Remove the asparagus from the grill, put on a plate and sprinkle with parmesan. Lay the fried eggs on top and sprinkle more parmesan, followed by the prosciutto and a final layer of parmesan. Drizzle the dish with extra virgin olive oil and add a dash of salt, a grind of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
RECOMMENDED: Roast Duck With Figs And Farro Recipe
Reasons To Make This Meal Today
The beauty of this simple dish is that it can be eaten as a delicious and nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here’s why you should keep the three key ingredients in your fridge or cupboard for when hunger strikes:
Asparagus: Very low in calories – 100g contains just 20 – but high in vitamin B6 and fibre, and the essential elements iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Eggs: All eggs are high in protein but high-quality, organic, free-range ones (as duck eggs usually are) contain more brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acids.
Prosciutto: It is a processed meat because of how it’s cured, but when it’s high in protein and tastes this good it’s worth it. Just cut down on less worthy meats.
Taken from Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes by Brendan Collins. £16.58, buy on amazon.co.uk