April 8th, 2012
Excerpted from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book by Nancy Silverton, with Teri Gelber Copyright © 2002 by Nancy Silverton, with Teri Gelber. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced . *This recipe has been adapted from its original.
To roast asparagus, adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 450 F.
Place asparagus into large bowl, drizzle with olive oil over it, sprinkle with salt and toss.
Scatter 16 thyme sprigs onto a baking sheet and lay asparagus stalks over them. Roast in oven for about 10 minutes, until tender to touch but firm in centre.
Grill bread in a panini maker or griddle. Rub one side of each slice with the garlic clove, place on baking sheet, garlic side up. Arrange asparagus over each slice of bread. Adjust oven rack to upper position, and preheat broiler.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring 8 cups water to a boil. Turn heat down to below a simmer and add vinegar and salt.
Crack an egg into a bowl making sure yolk is not broken.
Slowly stir water in one direction for a whirlpool effect, and once slowed, slide the egg into the water against the pan. Continue with remaining eggs, poaching each for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate to drain, tipping plate to pour off excess water.
Place 2 eggs on each slice of bread over asparagus. Drape a slice of Fontina cheese over eggs and heat the sandwich under broiler for a minute or so, until cheese is melted.
Remove sandwiches from oven and rumple prosciutto slice over each end of asparagus, allowing ends to peek out. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with pepper, and garnish with a thyme sprig.