Green eggs and ham

  • About 1.4 litres water
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 50g coarsely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 slices country-style bread, each 1.5-cm thick
  • 2 thin slices parma ham
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the chive oil
  • 4 teaspoons chive oil, recipe follows
  • 240ml olive oil
1) Preheat the grill or a lightly oiled stove-top griddle pan.

2) Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Salt the water, add the vinegar, and then lower the heat so the water barely bubbles.

3) One at a time, break the eggs into a small cup or bowl, and then pour into the water, trying not to break the yolks.

4) Poach for about 2 1/2 minutes, meanwhile with a slotted spoon, gently lift and shape the whites around the egg yolks until glazed but still liquid.

5) While the eggs poach, toast the bread slices on both sides. Put a slice of toast on each of 2 plates. Immediately top with the prosciutto so that it softens from the heat of the toast.

6) Lift the poached eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon, letting excess water drip off, and then place an egg on each toast. Drizzle each toast with 2 teaspoons chive oil and then grind a little black pepper over each. Serve immediately.

Chive Oil:

1) Place chives and olive oil in a blender and puree.

2) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

3) Pour through a funnel into a bottle for storage. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.

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