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Asparagus Milanese

Whenever you have leftover day-old bread, preferably a baguette or rustic white loaf, cut it into slices, place on a baking sheet and dry out the slices in the oven at 300°F for about 10 minutes. Process the toasted bread in a food processor to make crumbs. Store the crumbs in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 2 Tbs. panko or fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Steam the asparagus
Fill a fry pan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus, cover and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and divide the asparagus among 4 plates. Wipe out the pan with paper towels.

Cook the eggs
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Carefully break the eggs into the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites and yolks are set, about 4 minutes. Using a wide spatula, place 1 egg on each serving of asparagus.

Add the shallot and panko to the pan and sauté until the crumbs are golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over the eggs and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).