Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Bread Salad with Speck, Parmesan, and Poached Egg

Making this salad should have had me seriously craving produce at its summertime peak—especially juicy tomatoes, which are the main event in panzanella, an Italian bread salad. This recipe is kind of a riff on panzanella, yet it was so hearty and delicious that I didn't miss the tomatoes at all. Chunks of ciabatta bread, crisped with sliced garlic in olive oil under paper-thin slices of speck ham, are the bulk of the salad, tucked into a pile of arugula dressed with olive oil and lemon juice and shaved pieces of Parmesan.

A poached egg rests on top of it all, just because, making this salad somewhat like frisee aux lardons. When I first wrote about that recipe I asked quite earnestly how one could not like a dish that has bacon and egg and is still actually called a salad. The question still applies.

Though I used speck ham, the original recipe from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef called for pancetta. Any form of cured pork will do just fine.

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