It’s August and the harvest demands to be reckoned with! Since this is the week of the Italian holiday called Ferragosto, I thought I’d focus on summer appetizers and drinks using Italian ingredients. Here are a couple of Italian-style appetizers, and if you’re interested in the Italian cocktail, you can find the Watermelon-Limoncello Mojito recipe at this link: balconybartender.com
Recipe for Grilled Prosciutto Melon Skewers:
This is so easy it’s not really a recipe, but boy is it good! You can use any fruit with the prosciutto to get that sweet and salty taste. I used pears, watermelon and cantaloupe because that’s what I had on hand.
- 1/2 small watermelon
- 1/2 cantaloupe
- 2 Bartlet pears
- 6 oz. prosciutto
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Get the grill temperature up to a fairly high heat. I used an indoor grill turned to “sear”
- Cut fruit into wedges thick enough that a bamboo skewer can go through them lengthwise without breaking apart the fruit
- Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the fruit wedge. Slide a bamboo skewer through the fruit wedge lengthwise and place on the grill
- Grill for 2-3 minutes or until you get grill marks on the prosciutto. Remove and squeeze some lime juice over the skewers (alternatively, place on a platter with lime wedges and let the guests squeeze the lime juice over their skewer).
Recipe for Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
- 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 8-inch-long strips of zucchini, about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches wide
- lemon zest and fresh thyme for garnish
- Preheat indoor grill to sear or high heat (or get outdoor grill up to high heat).
- For filling: In a small bowl mix together the feta, cream cheese, mayonnaise, thyme, lemon juice only 1 Tbsp of the oil, and the salt and pepper.
- Rinse the zucchini but do not peel. Use a mandolin if you have one to slice long flat strips of zucchini. Make sure they are at least 1/4 inch thick or they will fall apart on the grill, and they should be about 8 inches long. With a basting brush, spread remaining 2 Tbsp oil over zucchini slices and place on the grill. Grill over direct heat until tender, about 2 minutes per side
- Remove zucchini slices from grill and let cool. When cool spread about 1 tsp of the filling over each slab of zucchini and roll up each slice.
- Top off each with a garnish of lemon zest and fresh thyme. You can skewer them with small picks if they are too thin to stand up on their own.
Enjoy these appetizers with friends and family at your summer picnic accompanied by a Watermelon Limoncello Mojito. Ciao!