This dish was created in my cooking class during my time spent abroad in Florence, Italy. This class allowed me to connect with my Italian roots and appreciate the simplicity of Italian cuisine and the importance of using quality ingredients in dishes. While this dish may seem very simple, there is really so much more to it. Each ingredient is high quality, and is handled with great care to create an egg dish that is memorable on your taste buds. After visiting a parmigiano reggiano factory, seeing how it is made and aged, consuming too much of it, and writing a paper on it, I can truly appreciate this cheese and what it can do to elevate dishes. Using a cheap type of parmesan (pre-grated especially) would do this dish shame. In my opinion, if you buy good quality cheese and ingredients, your food will always come out more flavorful, they will last you longer, and you won’t have to use as much of it to get the results you want. This sunny side up egg on top is not your ordinary fried egg by any means. It is cooked low and slow to develop even cooking with no crispy edges, and is then drizzled with melted butter and the perfect grating of parmesan on top for that salty component. This is the ultimate brunch dish, but I personally would eat it any time of the day.
Small bunch of asparagus, stems peeled
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until just tender, but still bright green. Blanch immediately in ice water to stop cooking and retain brightness. Dry completely and place on a lined baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, add some good quality butter and allow to melt over medium heat. Add thyme sprigs and allow thyme to flavor the butter, for 1-2 minutes over low heat making sure butter does not burn. Remove thyme sprigs. Drizzle melted butter over asparagus, reserving a couple teaspoons. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and a good grating of parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes until cheese has melted and asparagus gets golden and delicious.
While asparagus is cooking, in a small pan, add butter to melt and coat the pan. On the lowest heat possible add a cracked egg and allow it to cook slowly until the whites have become firm and yolk is golden but still very runny. Once asparagus is done, place on a dish, top with egg, drizzle with more melted butter, a good grating of parmesan, and a little cracked pepper if you wish.