French Baguette with Butter and Prosciutto
If I’m ever stranded on a desert island with only three ingredients, I pray that they are prosciutto, butter, and baguette. Minimalist in appearance, yet concentrated in flavor, this sleek sandwich is surprisingly satisfying.
Think of it as a ham-and-sort-of-cheese sandwich. Since butter takes the place of cheese, choose your butter with discretion. Imported butters or domestic farmhouse-style butters are richer and sweeter and balance the saltiness of the ham. For the ham, I prefer either an imported prosciutto di Parma, prosciutto di San Daniele, from Italy, or Serrano ham from Spain. Use a crisp, French-style baguette (not a sourdough). If the crust of the bread has lost its crispness, toast the baguette in a hot oven for a few minutes, and cool it completely before slicing and smearing it with butter.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Equipmentfood processor, mortar and pestle
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, savory
Type of Dishsandwich
- 1 recipe Scallion Oil (optional; see below)
- 1½–2 baguettes, cut into 4 7-inch pieces
- 1–1½ sticks (4–6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened but not greasy
- 6 ounces prosciutto di Parma, prosciutto di San Daniele, or Serrano ham, thinly sliced into about 24 slices
- 1 bunch scallions, green parts only, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Slice through the center of each piece of baguette horizontally.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES: Smear 2–3 tablespoons of butter over the bottom half of each baguette piece.
If you’re using scallion oil, spoon 1–2 tablespoons of it over and place about 6 slices of rumpled prosciutto on top.
Put the top half of the baguette over the ham, and squeeze the sandwich together with your fingers to compress it before taking the first bite.
For the Scallion Oil:
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or with a mortar and pestle, process or pulverize the scallions and parsely until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and process or pulverize another few seconds to combine.
2002 Nancy Silverton