Asparagus in Parma ham, with poached egg and a balsamic reduction

Use this easy, griddled asparagus starter to impress your friends and dinner party guests (or even a date!). It’s quick, simple to make and very tasty.

Note that your balsamic reduction can easily be made ahead of time, as it will keep for quite a while and is delicious as a dressing or dip with all sorts of dishes. If you’ve already made your balsamic reduction, this dish will take as little as 10 minutes to prepare and cook.

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Asparagus in Parma ham, with poached egg and a balsamic reduction
Although simple and quick to make, this starter can really impress. For a real treat, try using duck eggs.
asparagus tips
Course Starter
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Starter
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
asparagus tips
Instructions
For the balsamic reduction
  1. heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it is nearly boiling
  2. reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in the honey and reduce the mixture by around a third, until it has a syrupy consistency
  3. once reduced, take it off the heat and set aside to cool
For the asparagus in Parma ham
  1. heat up a griddle pan over a high heat
  2. bring a saucepan of water to a soft boil and add the vinegar
  3. while the griddle pan and saucepan of water are heating up, wash and, if necessary, trim your asparagus tips
  4. pat the asparagus tips dry, then place them on a small plate or dish and pour on the olive oil and lemon juice. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and mix them around so they're well-coated in the olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning
  5. griddle the asparagus tips for a couple of minutes until they are lightly charred. Set the asparagus aside and reduce the heat of the griddle pan to a medium heat
  6. poach the eggs for 2.5 - 3 minutes, so that they have runny yolks when cooked (if using duck eggs, you may need to cook them for slightly longer)
  7. while the eggs are poaching, wrap the stems of your asparagus tips in the Parma ham (3 in each slice, leaving the heads on display) and place the parcels in the griddle pan for about 30 seconds to sear the ham slightly
  8. drizzle, or 'flick' a couple of teaspoons of the balsamic reduction on to each of your serving plates, place the asparagus and Parma ham parcels onto the plates and then carefully place the poached eggs on top
  9. finish with a little grind of black pepper and serve

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