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Italian Eggs Benedict

Italian Eggs Benedict
Melanie Dunea / South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
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Chef notes

This breakfast dish is sexy and impressive. Once you get the hang of poaching eggs, it comes together so easily. I love whipping up a batch for my wife on a lazy Sunday.

Technique tip: Always season your poaching liquid with salt and vinegar. It helps the eggs set more quickly and evenly.

Swap option: If you don't have prosciutto cotto (Italian cooked ham), American ham can be used. 


Poached eggs
  • 2 eggs, very cold
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 slice ciabatta, 1-1¼ inch thick
  • 2 slices prosciutto cotto, 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • Fonduta, as needed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt and flakey sea salt (such as Maldon), as needed
  • Chives, sliced, as needed


For the poached eggs:

Fill a 4-quart sauce-pot until the water is one inch from the top and bring to a boil. Crack the eggs into individual small bowls. Season the water with salt and vinegar. Reduce the heat to just below a simmer. Carefully slide the eggs from the bowls into the pot on opposite ends of each other and cook for 3–4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. (You can use the eggs immediately or place them in an ice bath and reserve for later usage. When ready, reheat in simmering water.)

For the fonduta:

Pour cream into a pot and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid reduces by half. Pour cream into a blender. Turn to low speed and slowly add in the grated fontina until well incorporated. With the motor still running on low speed, slowly add in the Parmesan cheese, then the olive oil. Keep warm.

For the assembly:

Brush ciabatta with olive oil, season with salt and grill (or toast in your oven's broiler). Cut prosciutto cotto into pieces that are the same size as the bread, then lightly grill.

Place bread on a plate, top with the grilled prosciutto and then the poached eggs. Season with flakey sea salt, drizzle with fonduta and finish with chives.

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