Eat your ‘five a day’ the San Daniele way with our guide to fruit and prosciutto pairings

When it comes to eating the right amount of healthy foods, we’re often told to eat five pieces of fruit …

Cuisine
Prosciutto di San Daniele e melone

When it comes to eating the right amount of healthy foods, we’re often told to eat five pieces of fruit or veg a day, and some advice puts the figure as high as eight or ten pieces.

Trying to create tasty dishes around this goal can be difficult, but not when you can pair fruit with a contrasting, but equally delectable, flavour profile – and there’s something about the combination of salty and sweet that some people just can’t get enough of.

When that sweet flavour comes from deliciously ripe seasonal fruits, then who could blame us for not being able to resist the combination of salty and sweet that comes when fruit is paired with Prosciutto di San Daniele.

Melon and prosciutto is a classic partnership and definitely one of the best pairings, not just for the taste but also the texture. On Italian menus you’ll see it featured as Prosciutto e Melone and it is best when served simply, allowing the flavours to speak for themselves. You can have this dish as an appetiser or as a snack at any time of the day, simply serve the prosciutto wrapped around a slice or chunk of ripe, juicy melon or place it unpretentiously alongside a slice. Whatever way you choose to eat it, this deceptively modest pairing is simply magnificent. The next time you’re grocery shopping, look out for a ripe, fresh, cantaloupe or honeydew melon and be sure to pick up some Prosciutto di San Daniele too. And if you want to add an extra flavour to your plate, slice up a ripe peach, apricot or mango and enjoy the way the flavours and textures seem to dance across your tastebuds.

Another simple yet spectacular pairing is prosciutto and figs. It’s another one of those unassuming pairings that is full of flavour. Fresh figs aren’t fully ripe or truly tasty until they are soft and just ready to drop from the tree. As with melon, it’s best to keep this serving simple, with ripe figs, sliced in half, glazed with olive oil and paired with prosciutto. But if you do want to add a twist to this dish, add goat’s cheese and sprinkle with fresh black truffle slices.

Did you know that the avocado, one of the most popular and Instagramable ingredients of the past few years, is actually a berry? It is, and most of us already know that this nutrient-dense fruit, with its fleshy pulp and seed, makes a great breakfast dish, especially when you pair avocado with prosciutto. So next time you go to make smashed avocado on toasted ciabatta for breakfast or brunch, drape a few slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele on top – your tastebuds will thank you for it. Still hungry come lunchtime? The try a salad of prosciutto, ruby red grapefruit and avocado, topped with freshly ground black pepper and a light sesame oil.

If you find yourself hosting a party and searching for inspiring canapés to serve to your guests, try strawberry and prosciutto. All you need is a punnet of strawberries, so that you can wrap a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele around each one, securing it with a cocktail stick if required. Presented artfully on a plate, you’ll not only impress your guests with a taste combination they may never have come across before, you’ll be serving them up a wonderfully flavoursome treat too.

Still seeking more fruit-filled ideas?

Since the velvety texture of prosciutto works with a variety of different foods, experiment with melt-in-the-mouth prosciutto wrapped round slices of crunchy, perhaps slightly tart (depending on the apple variety), apple – the difference in texture provides an added layer of complexity to this pairing.

Then there’s grapes, a classic cheese board pairing that also benefits from the salty addition of prosciutto, a dish that’s perfected with a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of mostarda di frutta, a condiment hailing from northern Italy that’s made from candied fruit and a mustard-flavoured syrup.

Your fruit and prosciutto pairings can also benefit from touch of celebrity chef magic, as with this sumptuous recipe created for Prosciutto di San Daniele by Angela Hartnett. Her Prosciutto di San Daniele, Pear and Mackerel Salad provides the right amount of surprise and delight with a combination of proteins and a deliciously ripe pear, when served as an appetiser or a summer salad.

 

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