Roasted nectarines in Prosciutto – a summery starter

by Jeanne on August 9, 2007

in Recipes - gluten-free, Recipes - starters & light meals

20070722_nectarinestitle I have often written about braais (BBQs) on this blog – in fact, there is a separate section for braai recipe in my recipe index!  We have braaied in all weather, in various locations and for varying numbers of people.  And although we tend to repeat similar stuff when we are only braaing for ourselves (lamb chops, boerewors, potato salad and green salad), we try never to give guests the same lineup twice. 

And of course, what we make is also affected by the number of people:  if (like at last weekend’s braai) there are 15 guests, we tend to go for more basic stuff that can easily be scaled up to feed the hordes.  But if (as we had a couple of weeks ago) it is a small and intimate braai for five, we can get a little more creative.  People tend to think that a braai has to centre on vaguely burnt meat, on men standing around the fire drinking beer, and on women standing in the kitchen making salads. 

Au contraire. 

I like to think Nick and I have perfected the art of working a braaied main course seamlessly into a three-course sit-down meal.  Which is exactly what we did when Lisa, Alex and Rory came to lunch.  Champagne cocktails were sipped and the table was set outside under the trees.  But before we got to our main course of pork loin stuffed with pear and sage, done to absolute perfection on the Weber by Nick, there was the little matter of a starter. 

It had to be light and summery, it had to be easy to prepare (what’s the sense in a 20070722_nectarines2_2 summery lunch braai when you are trapped in the kitchen all day?), and I was hoping I would be able to use the new ingredient I brought back from my trip to South Africa:  caramelised verjuice.  I plan to do a more detailed post on this soon, but for now, suffice to say that this is a very old ingredient that has recently been enjoying a revival and it is your new best friend in the kitchen :) 

The end result of all this was a starter of quartered fresh nectarines wrapped in Prosciutto and roasted, before being served on a bed of wild rocket and feta cheese and drizzled liberally with caramelised verjuice.  It’s dead easy, it looks spectacular, and the combination of soft and crunchy; sweet and savoury; and caramelised and peppery is nothing short of perfection.  And best of all is that it is light, leaving plenty of room in your tummy for the main course.

And for dessert!

20070722_nectarinesplate ROASTED NECTARINES IN PROSCIUTTO (serves 6)

Ingredients:

3 ripe nectarines
6 slices of Prosciutto (or Serrano ham)
250g of feta cheese, crumbled
1 bag of wild rocket leaves
Caramelised verjuice syrup or caramelised balsamic vinegar syrup for drizzling

Method:

Halve and stone the nectarines, than cut each half in two wedges.  Wrap each wedge in a slice of ham and place in an oven-proof dish in a single layer.

Roast at 200C until the ham is beginning to crisp and the edges of the nectarines are beginning to brown (about 15 mins).

Arrange the rocket on individual plates and sprinkly generously with crumbled feta.  Place two nectarine quarters on each plate, drizzle with syrup and serve.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Niamh August 9, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Wow – looks delicious! I made an ottolenghi speck & peach salad recently and thought the flavour combination was fantastic. This is definitely one to try also.

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Pille August 9, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Pretty and so summery indeed!

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Patricia Scarpin August 9, 2007 at 3:37 pm

I love nectarines, Jeanne, but have never cooked nor baked with them! I’d love to give this recipe a try!

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Andrew August 9, 2007 at 8:34 pm

What wine would/did you serve with this? Sounds a bit tricky with the combo of “soft and crunchy; sweet and savoury; and caramelised and peppery”

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Susan from Food Blogga August 10, 2007 at 3:01 am

OK, this is getting too weird, Jeanne. First the pics from Stonington, now the nectarines and prosciutto. I swear, just two days ago, I made Jeff an arugula salad with nectarines and prosciutto, except I put goat cheese instead of feta. Yours looks just lovely.

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herschelian August 10, 2007 at 11:58 am

I have a bottle of verjuice I brought back from SA but it is not caramelized, do you think I could caramelize some myself? I am surprized that I’ve never seen verjuice on sale over here, it was used in cooking way back in in Tudor and Elizabethan times. I love using it when a recipe calls for vinegar but I want a lighter taste.

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Chris August 13, 2007 at 1:08 am

I was just looking at the nectarines I needed to do something with….I have never thought of pairing them with prosciutto. Now I have lunch for tomorrow! :)

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Sheri August 17, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Oh my gosh, this reminds me of a class I took where we grilled fresh peaches, turned in brown sugar and had home-made vanilla ice cream cooling. The ice cream never fully hardened and the combination of the two was pure heaven. I can’t wait to try this.
I visited South Africa last year and fell in love with your country. I am trying to figure out how to get back. Interestingly, I did not have a “cooksista” until I returned to America and my S. African web designer turned me on them. Delicious! I am going to try and find the recipe here so I can make them myself.
It’s going to be great breezing through your site. I am going to post a note to my readers about you!

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Living Our Dreams August 17, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Weekend delight

Before I go…I wanted to share this with you. Check out Cooksister. What a great summer recipe. It reminds me of a cooking class I took last year. We grilled ripe peaches rolled in brown sugar and had some home-made

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Zoomie August 14, 2008 at 5:00 am

Just found you by Googling “roasted nectarines” and, voila! here you are! These sound truly drool-worthy and I can’t wait to try them! Thank you!

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