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Speck-Wrapped Mozzarella Toasts

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Rioja, Denver

Rioja chef Jennifer Jasinski makes her own mozzarella for these savory toasts. The salty flavor comes from Picholine olives and speck, a salt-and-smoke-cured ham from northern Italy.

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  1. 2 cups pitted Picholine olives
  2. 2 large garlic cloves
  3. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  4. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
  5. 11/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 4 slices rustic sourdough bread, cut 1/2 inch thick from an 8-inch round, halved
  8. 16 bite-size mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
  9. 16 thin slices speck or prosciutto (4 ounces)
  1. In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, parsley and basil and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1 cup of the olive oil and process until smooth. Transfer the olive spread to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill pan. Brush the bread on both sides with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toast in the grill pan over moderately high heat until golden and crisp on both sides. Transfer each piece of toast to a small plate. Wrap each mozzarella ball in a slice of speck. Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Fry the speck-wrapped mozzarella over moderately high heat until golden and just melted, turning once, about 2 minutes. Set 2 speck-wrapped mozzarella balls on each toast, spoon some of the olive spread on top and serve.