One of my all-time favorite restaurants in New York City was a tiny panini and wine spot in the West Village called 'ino. Its signature dish was a truffled egg toast — an amazing concoction of thick, toasted bread, sauteed asparagus, runny egg yolk, melted cheese, and heavenly truffle oil. Sadly, 'ino closed several years ago, but here's a version you can make at home. It's tasty without the truffle oil, too (it's a little pricey), but in my opinion, the truffle oil in this recipe is a necessary splurge.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 4 one-inch slices Pullman white bread
- 4 eggs
- 4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
- Black or white truffle oil, for drizzling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the asparagus until tender but still crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice; set aside.
Place the bread slices on the prepared baking sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, make a depression in the center of each slice, pressing down to create an indentation in the bread. Flatten the indentation as much as possible without cutting through the slice; you want it to be as deep and flat as possible. Crack an egg into each indentation. Dividing evenly, scatter the cheese over each slice of bread, making sure not to cover the yolks (covering the whites is fine).
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the egg whites are set. The yolk should still be runny. Place each slice on a plate, scatter the asparagus over each toast, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with additional coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle each toast with truffle oil, if using.