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Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts
© Quentin Bacon

Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

This rustic salad, made with toasted bread tossed in a rich Champagne-vinegar dressing, is meant to be a bed on which to serve Judy Rogers’ legendary roast chicken and sop up its delicious juice.

  1. 1 tablespoon dried currants
  2. 1 tablespoon warm water
  3. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  4. 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  5. 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. Fine sea salt
  7. Freshly ground pepper
  8. 1/2 pound stale Italian-style bread, cut into large chunks
  9. 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  10. 4 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
  11. 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  12. 4 cups lightly packed small arugula leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small bowl, soak the currants in the water and red wine vinegar until plumped, 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the Champagne vinegar with the 1/2 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  3. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Let cool, then tear the bread into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, toss the bread with three-quarters of the dressing and let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a pie plate, warm the pine nuts in the oven for 2 minutes.
  5. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add the scallions and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add the currants, bread, pine nuts and the remaining Champagne vinaigrette and toss.
  6. Spoon the bread salad into a shallow 1-quart baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and bake for a few minutes longer to dry out the top and brown the bottom. Transfer the bread salad to a platter, toss with the arugula and serve.
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