5 restaurant-inspired appetizers that will impress your foodie friends

Sep 8 2020, 4:00 pm

One thing we’ve missed about life pre-pandemic is the luxury and ease of dining out. There’s something special about being able to sample and savour unique flavours from different parts of the world.

But if there’s anything we’re grateful for, it’s that those same comforts can be concocted from home — and have forced us to step up our cooking game. As of late, that’s meant venturing into the world of recreating some of our favourite restaurant appetizers.

Unsurprisingly, our love of charcuterie transcended this exercise and had us reaching for the most authentic ham around: Prosciutto di Parma. The world-famous ham is produced in the countryside of Parma in North-Central Italy where the dry, sweet air cures the ham au naturel, the secret to its high-quality flavour.

If your mouth isn’t watering already, it sure will be once you’re through with this list of appetizer ideas for your next (virtual or bubble-friendly) dinner party.

Ricotta toast

This easy appetizer will have your guests saying the magic words every home-chef wants to hear: “Wait, you actually made this?” Plus, it can so easily be upscaled based on your personal tastes.

Start by thinly cutting a baguette into slices and popping them in the oven. Once crispy, you can top them up with some ricotta, Prosciutto di Parma, pear slivers, and honey drizzle (or whatever you have in your fridge).

Melon prosciutto skewers

A classic sweet and salty union that never gets old.

It’s also as simple as it is delicious. All you need to do is place fresh cantaloupe pieces and prosciutto on a skewer (toothpicks will also do the trick!). If you’re feeling fancy, you can also throw some basil and balsamic into the mix for added texture and flavour.

One of the things we appreciate most about this combination is the fresh ingredients. This is especially true if you use Prosciutto di Parma, which is made with four all-natural ingredients: pork, sea salt, air, and time.

Antipasti spread

Create an elegant spread that’s sure to appeal to every element of your palate.

A good rule of thumb is to try and create a platter of diverse flavours and textures that can be combined into different bite-sized snacks. Raid your fridge for fresh veggies, cheese, olives, cured meats, and some marinades.

As always, bread and crackers can be added to the mix for friends to pile delicious mounds of food onto. Use Prosciutto di Parma for a cured ham that’s completely free of preservatives, additives, and hormones. Head here for a full list of ingredients for creating the perfect spread.

Roasted vegetables with gorgonzola and prosciutto

You don’t make friends with salad — unless that salad has cured ham in it, that is. If that ham is produced and cured to perfection directly from Italy, even better.

With the help of roasted veggies, savoury gorgonzola cheese, and sliced Prosciutto di Parma, you can concoct an appetizer that’s a cornucopia of satisfying flavours. Try your hand at improvising, or find the full recipe here.

Burrata salad

Sebastian Coman/Unsplash

As far as we’re concerned, there’s no such thing as too much cheese — and burrata is just about as decadent as it gets.

We recommend using any fruit or vegetables that are in season — think heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, and plums — to create a fresh, creamy salad. Garnish your creation with some dill, slices of Prosciutto di Parma, or basil and you’ll be left wondering why you ever even bothered with restaurants before.

Keep an eye out for the Prosciutto di Parma crown label and logo next time you’re grocery shopping or hitting up the deli counter. You can also visit the Prosciutto di Parma website to learn more about this authentic Italian ham or for more recipe ideas.

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