Prosciutto Egg Cups with Pesto
This post is sponsored by Parma Ham and Honest Cooking magazine.
Remember when I told you that olive tapenade is one of my favorite foods? Prosciutto de parma is another one that is close to the top of my list.
So when I was offered the opportunity to work with this product, create a holiday-inspired recipe, and help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma, I was pretty excited.
Prosciutto de parma is thin and delicate, but deliciously salty and oh so flavorful. I sort of look at it like the “better bacon” of the food world. Yes, I went there.
It is great as an antipasto or accompaniment to almost anything and everything: cheese or fruit, sandwiches (like that massive one I ate in Italy that was the size of my head!), pizzas, or crisped up and used as a garnish or topping.
It can do it all and more.
I’m usually more than happy to eat prosciutto on its own, slice by slice, but I figured that wasn’t incredibly creative.
Instead I came up with these fun Prosciutto Egg Cups inspired by similar versions made with bacon. To add an extra element of surprise, I added a layer of homemade basil pesto.
Despite appearing a bit complicated, this recipe is very straight-forward. It is all about the assembly. The first step is cutting and toasting small rounds of sandwich bread, which form the base and first layer of the egg cups.
Prosciutto is then lined very thinly around the edges to form the sides and hold everything together. Top with a spoonful of pesto, add an egg, and throw them in a 350°F (175°C) oven until the whites are set and the yolks are soft and runny.
Note: Although you might be tempted (and it does indeed work) to make the entire “cup” out of prosciutto and skip the bread layer, I don’t recommend this as it makes the egg cups too salty in my opinion.
Instead, try to use roughly half a slice of prosciutto per egg cup.
These would be perfect to serve at a festive breakfast or brunch spread over the upcoming holidays, but you could easily downscale the recipe and serve them for yourself any day of the week.
Not a shabby weekday breakfast, huh?
Prosciutto Egg Cups with Pesto
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2 heading cups fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread
- 4-6 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto de Parma ham
- basil pesto see recipe above
- 12 large eggs
- Prepare Bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a two-inch biscuit cutter, cut the bread into 12 rounds–you will need about 3-4 slices, depending on their size. Place the bread on a small baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes.
- Prepare Pesto: Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until fincely minced. Add the basil. While pulsing, slowly add the olive oil until the pesto is smooth.
- Assemble Egg Cups: Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil or another baking spray. Line the bottom of each cup with a toasted bread round.
- Slice each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise and line the sides of the each muffin cup with the prosciutto. The prosciutto should be touching the bottom of each cup and be level with the top or slightly above (try to avoid double layering the prosciutto as it gets saltier during baking).
- Spread a small spoonful (teaspoon or so) of pesto onto the top of the bread base. Crack one egg into each well on top of the pesto. Do not season.
- Bake for 17 to 22 minutes or until the white has just set, but the yolk is still soft and the prosciutto is crisp. Allow to cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before carefully removing and setting on a large platter. Serve hot.
Tips for Success:
- Pesto can be made up to a day or two in advance, covered with a light layer of olive oil, and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.