In Season: Truffled Egg Toast

One of the first restaurants I ever visited in New York, ‘Ino, a tiny space with only a toaster-oven for a kitchen, used to serve one of my favorite dishes in the city: truffled egg toast.

I think of it every time spring comes around and asparagus returns to the markets. The restaurant closed in 2013, but recipes (and expressions of mourning) for the dish are easy to find online. It’s essentially eggs-in-basket: Thick, pullman bread—barely toasted—covered in cheese, brimming with runny egg, and scented with truffles. I watched a Food Network clip about it from “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and was surprised to see that it’s only two yolks in the middle—which is perhaps why it feels so rich.

Here’s how to make it for yourself…

You’ll need: Fontina Cheese, Asparagus, White Bread, Two Eggs, Truffle Oil, Salt, and Pepper

Prep two slices of Fontina cheese, cutting each into four wide strips.

Sauté a few of spears of asparagus (just enough to keep them crunchy)—slice on the diagonal and set aside.

Remove the crusts from one slice of thick white bread and indent the center. Note: I used two slices of pre-sliced French bread and forgot to remove the crusts this time—and it tasted great that way, too.

Crack and separate each egg, sliding 2 yolks into the center of each slice of bread. Frame the eggs with slices of cheese—making a border just up to the edge of the bread, but not over it.

Transfer the egg-filled bread to a toaster oven (or a conventional oven preheated to 350°F) and, using a high setting, toast until the cheese has melted and begins to bubble, about 3 or 4 minutes. (Be sure to have something under it to catch the melting cheese.)

Transfer the toasts to small serving plates, atop the cut asparagus. Stir the yolks with the tip of the knife (they should be runny), and drizzle a generous amount (nearly a tablespoon) of truffle oil into the eggs. Add coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately!

Let me know if you try it!

P.S. Another version of the recipe on Serious Eats, where Ed Levine also opines about it. (Pssst, I used to get to write about breakfasts in the city for them!). Also, a shaved asparagus salad from the archives.

[Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness. If you are concerned, use pasteurized eggs or cook eggs to an internal temperature of 160°F.]

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