Dine and Drink: Prosciutto for picnicking | VailDaily.com

Dine and Drink: Prosciutto for picnicking

Pair this versatile Italian ham with veggies and fruits

With the outdoor music scene heating up, here are a few appetizer ideas you can bring for a picnic at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater or the Pavilion at Nottingham Park. In no time at all, you can whip up prosciutto in three different ways with these simple recipes from Ally Stephens, chef and owner of Season to Taste.

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham from the hind leg of a pig and Stephens recommends purchasing authentic Prosciutto di Parma or Prosciutto di San Daniele.

“Parma ham offers a delicate and sweet flavor and will be easier to come by in the U.S. as it’s produced in higher quantities than San Daniele ham,” Stephens said. Both are held to the highest standards from the selected pigs all the way through production, which means it’s a Protected Destination of Origin (PDO) product. Products that are PDO must be produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using traditional production methods.

“Prosciutto isn’t something we typically get to enjoy every day, so make sure you’re not buying a fake product or one with additives. All that’s needed for to make prosciutto is salt and pork,” Stephens said.

Here are just a few ideas on how to serve prosciutto this summer:

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees, blanch asparagus, pat dry and wrap prosciutto around each asparagus stalk. Drizzle with olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and roast for 10-15 minutes,” Stephens said. Why blanch? “Blanching veggies before cooking makes them a beautiful bright green color, locks in the nutrients and gives them that crisp-tender texture,” Stephens said.

Pears topped with Prosciutto

“Thinly slice the pear into rounds. Place prosciutto on each round, top with blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle with local honey and fresh cracked pepper,” Stephens said.

Stuffed dates with prosciutto

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice dates lengthwise being careful not to cut in half. Remove pit if not already purchased that way. Spoon in goat cheese. Wrap in prosciutto and bake for 10-15 minutes,” Stephens said.

Enjoy picnicking and impressing your friends with these easy recipes. Watch today’s video with Ally Stephens to see these delicious creations come to life.