$10 Mondays: Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Prosciutto

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, spring feels like it's in the air. A string of 50 degree days and all of the sudden everyone looks happier. Of course, we could have a blizzard next week, but for now I am content to celebrate the lovely day with a simple lunch of asparagus, eggs, and prosciutto. This post also marks a new series which I will (try very hard to) post every Monday, called $10 Mondays. The prosciutto in this recipe does bring the cost up a little, but if you make 2 servings (as shown), you should come out under $10. Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Prosciutto

1/2 teaspoon butter

1/2 lb asparagus, ends trimmed

4 large eggs*

1 teaspoon vinegar

4 slices prosciutto

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a small pot of water to boil with vinegar (this helps the eggs stay together while poaching). Carefully, break one egg into pot and immediately use a spoon to keep white and yolk together (some of it will come apart). Boil until white is set but yolk is still runny, about a minute. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add asparagus and sear until bright green and crisp tender, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place asparagus on a plate with prosciutto. Place eggs over asparagus, and top with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

Prosciutto: $4.99 for 3 oz

Eggs: $3.99/dozen, 33 cents each = $1.33

Asparagus: $3.99/bunch

Total: $10.31

Alright, so not quite under $10. However, you won't use all of the asparagus and prosciutto for this recipe and you can use the leftovers in a lovely risotto. Or an omlette. Or on crostini with some ricotta cheese. The possibilities are endless, really.

Risotto Primavera

Spring certainly feels like it's in the air in New York. I spied some asparagus at the grocery store the other day that actually looked fresh, and couldn't pass up the chance to try it. This is one of my favorite dinners to make in the spring -- still hearty enough for cold nights, but a nice way to showcase spring vegetables. It is especially good served with a crusty baguette and a glass of chenin blanc. Risotto Primavera

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 cups arborio or short grain rice

6 cups chicken broth

1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup peas

10 oz spinach, roughly chopped

3 oz proscuitto, chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

In a large pan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and shallot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add arborio rice and sauté until white dot is visible in the middle, 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir to coat. Begin to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until almost all has been absorbed before you add the next half cup.

Once you have added half the broth, stir in the artichokes. Keep adding broth, and when you have 1/2 cup left, stir in asparagus, peas, and spinach. Add last part of broth and let absorb. Rice should be tender but still have a slight bite.

Stir in prosciutto and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.