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Friday, July 10, 2009

Melon Panzanella

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each

4 ounces whole-grain bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips (about ⅓ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups torn arugula leaves
2 cups cubed firm ripe melon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Spread bread pieces on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat and stir in vinegar, salt and pepper.
4. Place arugula, melon, basil and the toasted bread in a large bowl. Add the prosciutto mixture and toss to combine. Let the salad stand for about 20 minutes before serving so the bread can absorb some of the dressing.

Cantalope Ice Pops

Makes eight 2-ounce pops
Equipment: 8 popsicle molds or small (2-ounce) paper cups

1 small cantaloupe
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely slivered fresh mint leaves
¼-⅓ cup lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the melon

1. Cut cantaloupe in half; remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth; measure 1 1/3 cups puree and transfer to a small bowl. (Reserve any remaining puree for another use, such as a smoothie.)
2. Pour water into a small saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in mint and immediately remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 minute.
3. Stir the mint syrup and lemon juice into the cantaloupe puree. Pour the mixture into 8 individual popsicle molds or small (2-ounce) paper cups.
4. Freeze until beginning to set, about 1 hour. Insert frozen-treat sticks and freeze until completely firm. Dip the molds briefly in hot water before unmolding