Maybe I’m just a little out of it due to my recent follow up brain surgery. Or maybe because it barely feels like fall here in Georgia since the leaves in our backyard have just started to turn red, gold, orange and brown. Yet, it’s holiday party and entertaining time!
I’m always on the lookout for healthy and easy to make appetizers and this one from the folks at Prosciutto di Parma fits the bill. I don’t know about you, but I love the taste of bacon wrapped anything when it comes to appetizers – dates, mushrooms, scallops, and so on. But not very healthy, right? Well, you can still get that wonderful salty pork flavor, avoid the grease, and make a much more sophisticated and elegant appetizer with prosciutto. Best of all Prosciutto di Parma is 100% all-natural and gluten free – perfect since so many people have issues with gluten these days.
You can take slices of prosciutto and wrap them around asparagus spears or melon. Or try them in this recipe for Prosciutto di Parma Caramele. The prosciutto is wrapped around a simple-yet-delicious filling of fresh ricotta cheese and herbs to look just like little Italian candies, or carameles. Make this even healthier by using a low fat ricotta.
If you have dairy free guests, substitute extra firm tofu for the ricotta. Use a blender to make the tofu smooth and then add the parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper to it. If you find the mixture is too dry or maybe missing a little flavor, add some fresh squeezed lemon juice to the tofu mixture.
Prosciutto di Parma Caramele
- 16 ounces ricotta, strained overnight
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chervil, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces Prosciutto di Parma (approximately 16 slices)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- In a large bowl, combine strained ricotta, parsley, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chives, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper; mix until herbs are evenly distributed; set aside.
- On a cutting board, cut each slice of Prosciutto di Parma into 2 to 3 squares. Place a heaping teaspoon of ricotta mixture onto the center of each square; roll prosciutto around ricotta mixture so that the seam faces down. Gently pinch the two ends of the roll to achieve the shape of a caramel.
- Repeat with remaining prosciutto and ricotta mixture. Drizzle caramele with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of chives.
- Serving size: 1 appetizer
Recipe and photo used with permission