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Parmesan Egg & Garlic Crostini with Baby Romaine Salad and Bacon Vinaigrette

Culinary artist Antonia Lofaso – Top Chef contestant, private chef to a few lucky A-list celebs and cuisine consultant at the new Studio City restaurant and bar Black Market – knows a thing or two about whipping up a good meal.

The French Culinary Institute alum dishes out a savory recipe for a light and scrumptious meal perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner: toasted garlic crostini topped with a fried egg drizzled in a rich Parmesan cream sauce, and a mouth-watering romaine salad with homemade bacon vinaigrette.

Parmesan Egg & Garlic Crostini with Baby Romaine Salad and Bacon Vinaigrette

Bacon Vinaigrette & Romaine Salad:
1 pound bacon, sliced into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups baby romaine lettuce
1 Fuji apple – peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Parmesan Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

Garlic Crostini
1 demi-baguette, sliced ¼-inch thick
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, halved6 eggs
1 Tablespoon almonds, crushed or sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the fat.

Make the vinaigrette – Whisk the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey together in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the bacon fat and olive oil while whisking rapidly until the salad dressing is thick and creamy.

Toss the baby romaine, apples, cherry tomatoes and bacon crisps with the vinaigrette.

Make the Parmesan cream – Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form at the edges. Reduce the temperature to low and stir constantly until the cream coats the back of a metal spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Make the crostini – Lay bread slices on a foil-lined baking pan. Brush each baguette slice with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Toast the bread slices and rub each slice with the garlic.

Assemble – Layer an egg, Parmesan cream, crushed or sliced almonds on a toasted baguette slice. Garnish salad and crostini with tomatoes and serve.

MF&L Staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

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