Benedicto Italiano

Simply put, this dish is magnificent.

It starts with a toasty, chewy English muffin that soaks up all the extra sauce and yolk to make sure nothing slips away. The prosciutto on top of that is crisp, crunchy and salty. After that, the poached eggs are rich and creamy and the yolks run out onto the plate the minute a fork pierces them. Atop it all is a robust hollandaise with classic Italian flavors of fresh basil and sun-dried tomato.

Traditional Eggs Benedict is a great dish, but it often leans too strongly towards richness and decadence.  This Benedicto Italiano uses lighter prosciutto and cuts through the heaviness with tart sun-dried tomato and refreshing, aromatic basil. It’ll definitely leave you feeling full, but the flavors are explosive and perfectly balanced

In the end though, any attempt at describe this dish will fall short of the real deal.  The only way to know what I mean is to make it yourself!

Benedicto Italiano

  • 5 eggs
  • 5/8 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cayenne
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated and diced
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 English muffin

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.  Fill two pots with water and bring to a steady simmer.
  2. Place the prosciutto on a foil covered baking sheet and slide into the oven to cook while making the sauce and poaching the eggs. The prosciutto should cook for approximately 10 minutes, so be sure to remove it on time if you don’t finish the next steps in time.
  3. Take three eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.  Combine the yolks and melted butter in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together until thickened.
  4. Add the lemon juice and cayenne to the egg mixture.  Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the first pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water, and continue to whisk vigorously until the volume has increased by half. Remove from the heat and add the basil and sun dried tomato, mixing thoroughly.
  5. To the second pot add the vinegar and bring to a very light boil. Poach the two remaining eggs so the yolks are still slightly runny (If you don’t know how to poach an egg, Smitten Kitchen has an excellent how-to here).
  6. Lightly toast the English muffin. To assemble the dish, place a prosciutto slice atop each English muffin half followed by a poached egg. Top with a couple spoonfuls of the tomato-basil hollandaise and garnish with a few basil ribbons.
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