1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
About 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
8 slices good-quality white bread, crusts trimmed
16 slices Swiss, fontina or Gruyère cheese
16 slices mild ham or prosciutto cotto
Olive oil and butter, for sautéing sandwiches
1/2 cup honey, warmed
1/4-1/3 cup Dijon mustard with tarragon (or mix in a few tablespoons of fresh tarragon to plain Dijon)
Heat an inch or so of water to low boil. Salt the water and boil the asparagus for 2 minutes. Cold shock and drain.
Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Form sandwiches by stacking one slice of bread, one slice cheese, one slice ham, asparagus, one slice ham, one slice cheese and another slice of bread.
Heat a thin layer of oil, a turn of the pan, over medium heat. Melt a tablespoon of butter into the oil. Coat two sandwiches in egg batter, as if you are preparing a batch of French toast. Add to the skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until deeply golden and the cheese has melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Combine the warm honey with the mustard and drizzle over halved sandwiches or serve warm honey and mustard as dippers in ramekins. Serve with an arugula and cherry tomato salad alongside.