Country ham, cold cured in salt and sugar and then aged, is available at specialty food stores and most supermarkets throughout the south. These easy-to-make croutons are so delicious they make excellent hors d'oeuvres on their own.
Fast Hors d'Oeuvres
Ten 3/8-inch-thick slices of French or Italian bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 1/2 -pound piece of country ham or prosciutto
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 450°. Brush the bread on both sides with the olive oil. Bake for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Let cool.
Put the ham in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Drain the ham and let cool completely.
Finely chop the ham and put it in a small bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise and parsley. Mound the ham generously on the toasts and serve.
The ham topping can be refrigerated overnight. Let the croutons stand at room temperature.
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