One of my favorite indulgent appetizers is a bacon-wrapped date with an almond stuffed in it. A couple of my favorite friends would always have them when entertaining for me and my husband. Making such a thoughtful, gluten-free treat that is gourmet, adult, and complex in flavors.
Last New Year's Year, this favorite played as an inspiration for a new creation: one that is easier to make (no cooking); more "healthy" with some green stuff in it; and more balanced complexity by addition of flavors and modifications.
Prosciutto rolls: a little date, fresh goat cheese, almonds, arugula, with pepper and herbs all wrapped up in a thin slice of cured meat. Easy to eat with the fingers in two bites. Perfectly balanced harmony of umami, sweet, creamy, peppery bitterness, and freshness from the greens. Differentiation of textures, too with the tender cured meat, chewiness of the date, crunch from the almonds, and crispness of the arugula. When I went to Whole Foods to purchase some prosciutto, I could not immediately find it. So, I bought a package of smoked salmon, too. Turned out great! These easy appetizers would work well with bresaola, too. Bresaola is one of my favorites: an Italian air-cured, thinly sliced beef. Reminds me of a more sophisticated chipped beef I grew up with. Can be found at Italian/specialty stores. For an extra fancy, impressive spread, you could make all three (prosciutto, salmon, bresaola) for a variety of flavors and colors. With these rolls, the sum is great than all of its parts. Therefore, the better quality ingredients will make for a more scrumptious roll. And the thinner the meat, the more you can see the arugula, which is a great look.
- Prosciutto, smoked salmon, and/or bresaola
- Black pepper, fresh ground
- Chives, fresh, finely chopped (optional)
- Goat cheese, fresh
- Almonds, roasted and salted (I used Marcona)
First, prep the dates by removing the pit and quartering lengthwise. Lay out the piece of meat/salmon flat on a cutting board. Season with fresh ground black pepper and chives (if using).
Place ¼ date at one end, centered. On that pack on the goat cheese and almonds (2-3 matching length of date). Compress lightly for best results when wrapping. Lay out the arugula along the length of the slice of meat/salmon.
Fold the meat/salmon over the date/cheese/almonds. If there is significant extra width, just fold over the meat/salmon just like an egg/spring roll. Continue rolling up, while making sure everything is snug in the roll but not too tight.
Arrange on a platter. Cover with plastic wrap. Serve chilled/room temperature. Enjoy!
Crispy Prosciutto Lettuce Cups
Buttery soft lettuce leaves are piled high with fluffy rice (studded with sweet peppers and sesame seeds), dressed cucumber, and slices of prosciutto—an Italian dry-cured ham that turns delightfully crisp in the pan. Each cup is finished with a drizzle of sambal mayo for irresistibly creamy texture and a touch of heat.
Full recipe coming soon!
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Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers. Halve lengthwise remove the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. In a medium pot, heat drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced peppers and sliced white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the rice and 1 1/4 cups of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Stir to combine. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 15 to 17 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in half the mirin and half the sesame seeds. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Place in a bowl add the sliced green tops of the scallions, vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Stack the prosciutto (removing the plastic lining between the slices), then thinly slice crosswise. Cut off and discard the root ends of the lettuce separate the leaves.
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced prosciutto. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart any clumps, 4 to 5 minutes, or until crispy. Immediately transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, remaining mirin, and as much of the sambal oelek as you&rsquod like, depending on how spicy you&rsquod like the dish to be. Assemble each lettuce cup using 2 lettuce leaves, the pepper rice, marinated cucumbers (discarding any liquid), crisped prosciutto, and spicy mayo. Serve the lettuce cups garnished with the remaining sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Prosciutto, Pear, and Arugula Rolls
When I am hosting a party but am trying to keep it clean at the same time, these little Prosciutto, Pear, and Arugula Rolls are my go-to. It’s elegant, simple and everyone loves it! It is as simple as rolling a few ingredients in slices of prosciutto and it tastes absolutely delicious.
You don’t have to add the addition of balsamic vinegar, but it definitely elevates this appetizer. What is “good aged balsamic”, you say? So, here is the deal with balsamic: if you just buy a regular balsamic vinegar, it’s too runny to say, drizzle as I did here. It’s better for a salad dressing type of situation. And, typically balsamic glaze or reduction is when it is cooked down with sugar to make it thick and dreamy– but we are trying to be health-conscious here. However, aged balsamic is typically naturally dense (but always check your labels), and that is what I use when I am trying to avoid sugar on recipes like this. Yes, it is more expensive but that is because it’s way better than regular balsamic. It has an almost syrup-like consistency and a deeper, richer flavor that will have you wanting to drizzle it on almost everything.
Some of my favorite aged balsamic vinegars are:
- — this can be found at Williams-Sonoma and it will change your life it’s so dang good. If you are trying to keep this a whole30 appetizer, this one contains sulfites so it’s not compliant. BUT, this one is fabulous, and it makes for one heck of a holiday hostess gift, too! — Most glazes contain caramel coloring and thickening agents to achieve the density and appearance of a decorative balsamic glaze, but this is condensed by freezing and skimming off the ice crystals and it contains NO sulfites. I find mine at Whole Foods and I absolutely love it!
Anywho, there is a very minor balsamic vinegar 101 for you but, really, that wasn’t the point of this post. But I am glad we got that out of the way. Either way, bring or serve these Prosciutto, Pear, and Arugula Rolls at your next party and watch them magically fly off the platter in about 30 seconds!
Prosciutto Cucumber Roll-Ups Recipe
Prosciutto, roasted red pepper, long strips of cucumber and micro greens, rolled up and wrapped around slices of Sargento® Ultra Thin® Mild Cheddar Cheese Slices.
- 1 large English cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise*
- 4 oz. Prosciutto
- 1/4 cup Roasted red pepper – cut into strips about 2.5 - inches long
- 2 oz. Microgreens
- 8 slices Sargento® Ultra Thin® Mild Cheddar Cheese slices
- On a work surface, lay out two strips of cucumber and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, layer on 3 slices of Sargento® Ultra Thin® Mild Cheddar Cheese, 1 piece of prosciutto, 3-4 thin strips of red pepper placed at the end, and 1-2 tablespoons of micro greens over the red pepper.
- Starting at the end with the microgreens and red pepper, roll from end to end until the cucumber roll is complete. Cut in between the two cucumber slices. Turn the roll on its side so that the microgreens and red pepper are now sprouting out of the top of the roll. Repeat for all slices of cucumber. Serve and enjoy!
Puff Pastry Recipes
One of the reasons I love puff pastry is that it is such a great way to make an easy but elegant appetizer. I use it all the time, like for these Sausage Cream Cheese Bites or this Mushroom Gruyere Tart. These Puff Pastry Bundles have asparagus, Gruyere and Prosciutto and make a perfect savory appetizer or brunch recipe.
60 g (2 oz) Parmesan, grated
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Cut each slice of prosciutto in half. Cut off the base of each asparagus stem so that the spear is about 9 cm (3½ inches) long. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute, or until just tender.
2. Drain the asparagus and pat dry. Brush with the melted butter, then roll the spears in the grated Parmesan. Wrap each asparagus spear in half a slice of prosciutto.
3. Brush an ovenproof dish, large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer, with melted butter. Place the asparagus bundles in the dish. Sprinkle with any remaining Parmesan, grated nutmeg and cracked black pepper, to taste. Bake for 7 minutes. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.
18 Recipes for Prosciutto Lovers
Prosciutto is like the gateway drug into Italian charcuterie. This rosy, delicate, and perfumey dry-cured ham—usually served thinly sliced with thin ribbons of fat still contained—is found in several regions across Italy where it graces the center of sandwiches and becomes the inevitable focal point of antipasti boards. But there is so much more to this marvelous ham than eating it on its own. Crisped up, it adds texture and flavor when tied around roasts or stuffed under chicken skin. Chopped into cubes it can fill calzones, top pasta, or stuff tortellini. It can be layered onto crostini, mixed into vegetables, or tossed into shellfish dishes. And that’s just the beginning. Any way you slice it, this perfect Italian product is one you’ll want to stock in your deli drawer on the regular. Here are our 18 favorite dishes that show its range.
Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto BruschettaCavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast. Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »
Wayne Thiebaud’s Spaghetti with Mizithra CheeseIn the spirit of a classic carbonara, artist Wayne Thiebaud’s recipe from the California Artists Cookbook (Abbeville Press, 1982) combines smoky bacon and prosciutto with egg yolks and mizithra, an aged sheep’s milk cheese from Greece, for a gloriously rich dish. Get the recipe for Wayne Thiebaud’s Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese »
Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams
Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)This hefty calzone is stuffed with ricotta and two types of cured pork, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta) »
Sweet Peas with ProsciuttoIn this classic Roman pairing, sweet peas are richly flavored by salty prosciutto as well as the pork’s rendered fat. Get the recipe for Sweet Peas with Prosciutto »
Classic MeatballsThe key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce. Get the recipe for Classic Meatballs »
Stuffed Rabbit with CabbageTo make this nose-to-tail dish, a whole boned-out rabbit is stuffed with the meat from the legs, wrapped in cabbage leaves and speck (smoked prosciutto), and roasted, while the bones are used to make a jus. Get the recipe for Stuffed Rabbit with Cabbage »
Lard Bread Stuffing
Escarole with ProsciuttoFried slices of prosciutto provide a crisp contrast to sautéed escarole. Get the recipe for Escarole with Prosciutto »
Venetian Rice Fritters (Arancini Veneziani)These cheesy rice fritters, often made with leftover risotto, are an addictive snack. Get the recipe for Venetian Rice Fritters (Arancini Veneziani) »
Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios
Tortellini in BrothAdapted from Trattoria Sostanza, a Florentine institution, this prosciutto-and-cheese-stuffed pasta is served in a simple chicken broth. Get the recipe for Tortellini in Broth »
Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork LoinWrapping pork loin in prosciutto not only keeps the roast especially juicy, but it adds wonderful, salty flavor. Get the recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin »
Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and ProsciuttoPoppy seeds lend their toasty aroma to a creamy pasta dish based on one served by chef Matthew Accarrino at SPQR in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and Prosciutto »
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs, and ProsciuttoRaclette has a delightful nutty flavor and melts perfectly over potatoes, vegetables, or, as in this recipe, works as a great stuffing for chicken. Get the recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs, and Prosciutto »
Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea ShootsSpring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots
Sprinkle each scaloppine with 1/4 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp. rosemary, and pepper (do not add salt). Top each with 2 basil leaves, 2 mint leaves, 1 slice prosciutto, and 1/8 of the cheese. Roll up tightly secure with a toothpick or tie crosswise with 2 pieces of kitchen twine spaced about 1" apart. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover chill.
Dredge rolls in flour shake off excess. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add rolls brown on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. rosemary, sage leaves, bay leaves, and garlic to skillet. Stir until garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat add brandy. Return to heat and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes (brandy may ignite). Reduce heat to medium-low add cream. Return rolls to skillet simmer until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Turn rolls. Cover simmer until cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Remove toothpicks or twine.
Place 2 rolls on each of 4 plates. Season sauce with salt and pepper, spoon sauce over rolls, and serve.
Giada De Laurentiis Uses a Salty Surprise to Kick Up the Flavor In Her Lasagna Rolls
There’s nothing too special about lasagna rolls. You take your usual lasagna ingredients and instead of layering them into one big pan, your roll them up into individual servings. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still delicious and the rolls can be a nice switch-up from your usual lasagna recipe but they’re not exactly groundbreaking…unless of course, you follow Giada De Laurentiis‘ recipe for lasagna rolls that come with one surprising and deliciously salty secret ingredient.
At first glance, they may look like regular old lasagna rolls, but read the recipe and you’ll see that Giada includes three ounces of chopped prosciutto in her ricotta mixture. Prosciutto is packed with tons of salty flavor that takes these lasagna rolls from basic to breathtaking. But don’t worry, Giada packs in some secret veggies to balance out the flavors in her lasagna rolls too. The recipe uses one whole package of frozen spinach but it’s so well covered up by cheese and prosciutto and sauce that your kids probably won’t even notice it.
If you’re looking for a dessert to pair with these mouthwatering lasagna rolls, Giada has you covered there too. She recently shared this recipe for chocolate chip cookies that feature another surprising ingredient: popcorn! Giada De Laurentiis is the queen of secret salty ingredients and we love her for it. Keep the salty surprises coming, Giada!
Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups
Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups will be a smash hit at your next party. Easy to assemble, gluten-free, and bursting with sophisticated flavor!
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Oh my gosh you guys, I’m so excited to share today’s recipe for Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups with you!
As I mentioned on Monday, we had a bunch of friends over last Friday night and decided to serve apps instead of having a full-on grill out. Only problem was my mind went completely blank when trying to come up with a menu. Like a good party dress, the perfect appetizer recipe is never easy to nail down when you need it, and all you can find when you aren’t in the market. Can I get an Amen?!
Needless to say I stocked up on lots of hummus, salsa, and watermelon to serve. Yes, watermelon. Like I said, I couldn’t think of anything to make – my mind was totally fried from a busy week! Anyway, Ben saw me stressing and told me he’d take care of coming up with something a little more substantial and, well, not chopped watermelon (which I ended up forgetting to serve anyway. Hostess of the year, right here!) Anyway, he totally delivered when he rolled out a tray of these chewy, creamy, sweet, and savory roll ups. They were devoured lickity split by our friends!
Thin slices of prosciutto are slathered with softened lemon goat cheese and sweet fig spread then topped with delicate arugula drizzled with lemon dressing. After a final flourish of cracked black pepper, the one bite delights are rolled then served drizzled with the remaining dressing. So sophisticated yet beloved by all. I think I had 100. Give or take 3 or 4. Not. Kidding!
Prosciutto is one of my favorite foods in the entire world. It’s a tiny bit salty and the texture is almost like sushi – yum! I’d never said no to sticky-sweet fig spread either, and the creamy goat cheese paired with crunchy arugula was indescribably delicious.
I hereby order thee to make this fresh and easy appetizer recipe for your next party, BBQ, or get-together!
Cheddar Brat Meatballs + 3 Dipping Sauces
As I mentioned, these Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups are super simple and only call for a few ingredients.
(A note on the prosciutto below because it’s searing my soul – 99.99% of the time I buy La Quercia for my prosciutto needs, a world-renowned prosciutto made right here in Iowa that I just love. Seriously, I met the owner at Bacon Fest last year and went all fangirl on him. Told him, “I tweeted you once!” Nice. Anyway, that said, La Quercia’s prosciutto is the definition of whisper-thin and you need a little more substantial slice for these roll ups. The brand below worked perfectly!)
Cut 2, 3oz packs prosciutto in half then peel the layers apart and place them on a cutting board. Next smear 1 teaspoon softened lemon goat cheese or “chevre” in an upward arc on the curved end of the prosciutto. Trust me, it’s much easier to smear in an upward arc than a down one, as evidenced by the top row in the picture below. Also, this is much easier when your chevre has softened to room temperature.
This is the lemon chevre I used, by the way. If you can’t find lemon you can absolutely use plain. Ben did on Friday night and the rolls were still fantastic.
Next smear about 1/2 teaspoon fig preserves on top of the goat cheese.
You should be able to find fig preserves or spread at any grocery store these days. It’s usually by the specialty meats and cheeses. That said, I did find the chevre and prosciutto near the regular lunch meat and cheese at the store!
Finally, place a few leaves of arugula on top then drizzle with a super simple dressing of 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil mixed with 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Add a crack of fresh black pepper then roll.
Roll baby, roll! The prosciutto has a slightly tacky texture that sticks to itself so no toothpick is needed to hold the rolls together.
Finish with the rest of the ingredients – you’ll get about 20 rolls total – then drizzle with the remaining lemon dressing and a flourish of cracked black pepper. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until it’s party time!