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With Egg-in-a-hole With Asparagus, roasted asparagus and toasts dipped in a Parmesan-infused custard turn a childhood favorite into so much more. / Christopher Testani/The New York Times

Hybrid dishes run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. For every Cronut and brookie bringing delight, there's a ramen burger or pizza taco just waiting to make you shake your head.

The best hybrid dishes operate on several levels. They have cooking techniques that can be seamlessly merged, flavors that build on one another and overlapping dispositions that make so much sense together that the new dish becomes a classic, not a flash-in-the-pan (I'm looking at you, mufgel).

Asparagus egg-in-a-hole checks all the right boxes. At its heart, it's a cross of two eggy bread recipes — Parmesan French toast and egg-in-a-hole — that is served with a pile of roasted asparagus to catch all the saucy yolk.

Parmesan French toast, a brilliant recipe from Nigella Lawson, is a piquant, cheesy take on the usual maple-soaked staple. For this version, I streamlined the ingredients, eliminating the paprika, mustard and Worcestershire. With the additions of runny eggs, roasted asparagus, thyme and scallions, the bread doesn't need any extra oomph.

Then I cut holes into those Parmesan- imbued slices and cracked eggs right into them to cook. Another name for egg-in-a-hole is bird-in-a-nest, and when you see those yolks nestled cozily into the bread, you understand why.

Both French toast and egg-in-a-hole are usually fried in a pan of butter. But in order to cook the asparagus at the same time, I moved everything to a sheet pan.

This is a very straightforward recipe, yet there are a few things to keep in mind. One is to choose a crusty bread, such as a sourdough or a country loaf, something sturdy that won't fall apart after bathing in the custard. Then cut the widest slices right from the middle to use. The goal is to fit two eggs into each slice, making the dish a bit more substantial than usual. If your bread slices are smaller, just use one egg in each.

You can substitute other quick-roasting vegetables for the asparagus. Broccoli florets, halved cherry tomatoes or Brussels sprouts, or sliced mushrooms all work equally well. And if you want to double the recipe, use two sheet pans, arranging the bread on one and the asparagus on the other.

Then serve this for a light dinner, or for breakfast or brunch. Just hold the syrup. And don't try crossing it with a bagel.

Egg-in-a-Hole With Asparagus

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For Egg-in-a-Hole With Asparagus, slice wide pieces of sturdy bread, preferably from the middle of the loaf, with the goal of fitting two eggs into each slice. The asparagus can bake in the same sheet pan. / Christopher Testani/The New York Times

Yield: 2 servings

Total time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

5 large eggs

1/3 cup whole milk

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 wide slices sturdy country white bread, such as sourdough or peasant bread (preferably from the middle of the loaf)

8 ounces asparagus, trimmed

3 scallions, thinly sliced

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a rimmed sheet pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

In a large, shallow dish, whisk together 1 egg, milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan, a large pinch of salt and pepper and the remaining tablespoon melted butter. Add bread, and let soak for about 2 minutes per side. The bread should be soft and soaked through, but not falling apart.

Arrange soaked bread on one side of the prepared sheet pan. Pour any remaining soaking mixture from bowl onto the bread slices. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, carefully cut 2 (2 1/2-inch) holes in each slice of soaked bread, making 4 holes in total. Place the cut-out rounds alongside the bread slices on the pan.

On the other side of the sheet pan, add the asparagus, half of the scallions (save the rest for garnish), thyme and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, tossing well, and spread into an even single layer.

Bake until bread is golden on top, 10 minutes. If the asparagus is tender and browned after 10 minutes, use tongs to transfer the stalks to a plate, and tent with foil to keep warm. Thick asparagus may need more time, in which case leave it in the pan for the next step.

Using a spatula, flip the bread slices and cut-outs. Crack the remaining 4 eggs into the holes (the eggs may overflow a bit, and that is OK). Season eggs lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan on top of eggs and bread.

Return pan to the oven, and bake until eggs are barely set, 5 to 7 minutes. The yolks and even some of the whites should jiggle slightly. (Note that the eggs will continue to cook on the sheet pan once out of the oven, so if you like runny yolks, err on the side of early removal.) However, if the egg whites are still translucent, bake for another minute or two.

To serve, place egg toasts on plates, top each toast with half the asparagus (discarding the thyme sprigs) and garnish with reserved scallions.

— Melissa Clark

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