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Bread Salad with Prosciutto

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Bread salads are particularly wine-friendly because toasted bread can take on so many flavors. Along with salty prosciutto, tangy sheep's-milk cheese and sweet-crunchy almonds, Marcia Kiesel says, "I wanted something to match the licorice nuance in the wine; at first I thought of fennel, but instead I added that flavor in liquid form—a splash of Pernod."

  1. Two 1/2-inch-thick slices of white country bread, crusts removed
  2. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  3. Salt
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 4 thin slices of prosciutto (1 ounce), torn into strips
  6. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons Pernod
  9. 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  10. One 1-ounce piece of firm sheep's-milk cheese, such as Pyrenees brebis or Manchego, cut into 1 1/2-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
  11. 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted almonds
  12. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the bread on both sides with the melted butter. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into 1-inch dice. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for about 8 minutes, until crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the prosciutto and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the prosciutto to a plate, shaking any excess oil back into the skillet.
  3. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the Pernod and water and simmer for 20 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the prosciutto and a pinch of salt. Fold in the toasted bread cubes.
  4. Transfer the bread salad to plates. Garnish with the cheese, the chopped almonds and parsley and serve.


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