When I was a kid I loved buffets.
Wait – let me start over.
When I was a kid I FRIGGIN’ LOVED buffets! I have no idea why. Saturday nights pre-Sunday-buffet were like Christmas Eve. There must have been something about an endless river of self-serve pig fat, Fruit Loops, and orange juice that appealed to the insatiable appetite of a ten-year-old.
To me, eggs Benedict has and always will be the stick by which a buffet is measured. It’s the ultimate in brunch fare. It was the buffet gift that ten-year-old Me would fall asleep dreaming about.
Now that I’m all-grown-up (ha!) I get to wrap my own gifts on occasion. This is the Benny I always asked for yet never received. Salsa Verde instead of Hollandaise. Crispy prosciutto – or Serrano ham, if you want to be extra trendy – instead of Canadian bacon. Layer the whole thing with avocado, roasted heirloom tomatoes, and real poached eggs and you’ve got a “Benedict” that’ll have weird ten-year-olds drooling in their sleep. Well, that, or a group of “grown-ups” singing your praises. Either way: tasty.
(For what it’s worth I now associate buffets with hangovers, fantastic air-conditioning, and the wonderful, rhythmic chime of slot machines – aka Las Vegas. I still love the buffet… I just love it differently.)
Serves 4 (2 mounds of goodness each)
- 4 English muffins, halved and toasted (Live in Phoenix? Go get LGO’s version – the best.)
- 8 slices prosciutto, or Serrano ham
- 8 eggs
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced ½” thick
- 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 recipe Roasted Salsa Verde
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of paprika, for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan, arrange the slices of tomato and prosciutto (folded into circles about size of the English muffin). Drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil and season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin. Bake until the tomatoes are just roasted and the prosciutto is crispy, ~10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the English muffins and poach the eggs. Use an egg poacher (good), French egg poacher (better), or pot of simmering water (classic).*
- To serve, place two halves of an English muffin on each plate, cut side up. Then, pile on to each 2-3 slices of avocado, one slice of the roasted tomato, and one slice of the crispy prosciutto.
- Top each benedict with a poached egg, a couple spoonfuls of the warm salsa verde, and a sprinkling of paprika.
* There are a couple of tricks to it, but when done correctly nothing beats a classic poached egg. It really makes a difference. In the future I’ll share my technique.