This simple but tasty twist on boiled egg and soldiers will turn your breakfast from something ordinary into something quite extraordinary. The lightly roasted asparagus with crispy pancetta, and the Parmesan toast fingers go so well with the soft-boiled egg, you will be dipping and licking your lips until ever scrap is finished.
This lovely recipe comes from Nina Timm’s new cookbook Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen, based on her popular South Africa foodblog ‘My Easy Cooking’. I found myself unable to stop snacking on these tasty Parmesan toast fingers at her book launch recently, so am delighted she agreed to let me share the recipe.
Nina is somewhat of a veteran in the South African blogger community and was very welcoming to me 4 years ago when I decided to start on this magical journey. Her book is a fabulous achievement and is very true to herself in style and content. It really is an extension of her blog. In addition, Nina is a mom of two, a wife and has a weekly radio show on SABC’s RSG.
The book is divided into chapters around eating occasions, like: morning, casual book club suppers, a braai (BBQ), food for on the go or a road trip, sweets and market day goodies. Little bits of everything are covered here.
The book has a strong South African flavour with recipes that are influenced by Nina’s heritage and her take on family eating. You get a strong sense of communal eating and sharing in this book, something that Nina is passionate about, and on the whole the recipes are hearty and comforting with a mix of fast casual and long and slow dishes.
*cooks note~ the only changes I made was to brush and sprinkle cheese on only one side of the bread fingers. I roasted the asparagus in a hot oven (200 C vs grilling them).
Nina recommends using eggs that are about 5 days old because fresh eggs are difficult to peel. Eggs should always be at room temperature. If you keep your eggs in the fridge, run them under a hot tape for about a minute before cooking. Cooking times for extra-large or jumbo eggs: 5 minutes = soft runny egg. 6 minutes for medium boiled. Dip the eggs into cold water after cooking to stop carry over cooking.
- 2 eggs per person
- 5ml salt
asparagus and pancetta
- 4 fresh asparagus spears per person
- olive oil
- 4 slices pancetta (Parma ham) per person
Parmesan bread fingers
- 1 slice day-old white bread per person
- oilve oil for brushing
- 80g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the boiled eggs:
Fill a pot big enough to accommodate your eggs and bring the water and salt to the boil. Ensure you cook your eggs on a simmer as a vigorous boil can cause them to crack. Nina recommends making a small hole with a sharp needle on the wider end of the egg. Serve in egg cups with the asparagus wrapped in pancetta and Parmesan bread fingers.
For the asparagus and pancetta:
Break the bottom fibrous part of the asparagus off and lightly brush each spear with olive oil. Roll a slice of pancetta around the spear and place on a baking try. Grill until nice and crispy.
For the Parmesan bread fingers:
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Slice the bread into 2cm wide fingers and brush each with olive oil. Roll each bread finger in the Parmesan cheese and bake until crispy and golden brown.
Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen is published by Struik Lifestyle an imprint of Penguin Random House, and available at all good book stores.
look forward to connecting with you again in the future.