Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Melon Panzanella

Melon Panzanella (Adapted from Eating Well)

2 1/2 cups cubed whole-wheat bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach
2 cups cubed cantaloupe melon (or any other firm ripe melon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

On a large baking sheet, spread bread cubes in an even layer - place into the oven and bake until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Stir in prosciutto - cook, stirring often, until the prosciutto is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in vinegar - season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, add spinach, melon, basil and the toasted bread cubes. Pour prosciutto mixture into the bowl, then gently toss to combine. Set salad aside and let stand for 20 minutes to let the bread absorb some of the dressing.

Makes about 4 servings.

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