Asparagus grilled-cheese sandwich with egg and taleggio

asparagus-panino

When springtime rolls around, I get excited about all the new produce at the markets: peas, fava beans, friar’s beard, rhubarb… But most most of all, my heart skips a beat when I see the first asparagus of the season. I was thrilled to count SEVEN different varieties of asparagus at one vegetable vendor at the market a few weeks ago. Seven! Needless to say, I had to try them all.

This is a delicious recipe for a rich and flavorful sandwich, matching the nutty, tangy flavor of the asparagus with savory Taleggio cheese and a perfectly-gooey, fried, farm-fresh egg.

Asparagus grilled-cheese sandwich with egg and taleggio

  • 6 stalks of asparagus
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter (at room temp)
  • 3 slices taleggio cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 fresh, free-range egg

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Wash the asparagus and trim off the woody ends, then cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, until slightly tender. Drain and transfer immediately to an ice bath. Drain again and pat dry. Set aside.

Butter the outside of each slice of bread and toast in a hot frying pan for several minutes, until slightly browned. Flip and toast unbuttered side for another couple minutes. Flip bread again and add cheese to both pieces of bread (on the un-buttered side). Cover the pan for a couple minutes until the cheese begins to melt. Remove bread from pan and aside on a cutting board.

Add a spoonful of oil to the frying pan and sauté the drained asparagus for several minutes until slightly browned. Arrange the hot asparagus on top of the cheese one side of the bread, sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Crack the egg into the hot frying pan and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Add a couple spoonfuls of water to the pan, cover, and allow to cook for another couple minutes, until egg reaches desired consistency). Carefully transfer the egg on top of the asparagus and gently close the sandwich with the other slice of cheese-toast. Serve immediately.

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