If Dr. Seuss were Italian, I imagine his version of green eggs and ham would resemble this open-faced sandwich — crusty country bread, slathered with peppery pesto and topped with crisp cured ham.
Recipe within in a Recipe: Use the leftover pesto to top roasted or grilled fish or chicken, stirred into vegetable soup, or in place of tomato sauce on a pizza or pasta.
For the arugula pesto
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
For the sandwich
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 thin slices prosciutto or Serrano ham
- 2 tablespoons arugula pesto
- slices of country bread, cut 1 1/2 inches thick and toasted
For the pesto
- Place the arugula in a bowl of ice water and set aside to soak briefly, at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the oil, half of the pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the mixture is very smooth.
- Drain the soaked arugula, shake off excess water but don’t pat dry (you want some of that water in the pesto) and add to the food processor. Pulse until the arugula is just incorporated, about 5 pulses.
- Add the cheese and remaining pine nuts, season well with salt, and pulse a few times to break up the pine nuts and mix in the seasoning. (If the mixture is very thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.) Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning as desired.
For the sandwich
- Heat the oil in a small nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat.
- When it shimmers, crack the egg into the pan and cook until set on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Using a nonstick spatula, carefully turn the egg over and cook until just set, about 1 more minute.
- Remove to a plate. Add the prosciutto to the pan and cook until just crisp, about 1 minute.
- Spread the pesto on the toasted bread, top with egg and prosciutto and serve.
- Use fresh basil, cilantro or parsley in place of the arugula.
- Top with another cured meat, such as bresaola, or use some crisped speck or bacon for a smokier note.
- To make it meatless, swap the prosciutto for a grated hard cheese like cheddar, fontina, gouda or gruyere and place under the broiler until melty.
Note: The pesto can be made up to 2 days ahead. Place in an airtight container, lay plastic wrap against the pesto surface, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
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