As the entertaining season gets going, the smarter hosts among us will start to stockpile one of the world's great convenience foods: prosciutto.
It's no secret that this salty, fatty, umami-packed cured pork is a sure thing on any charcuterie plate, but it's also unbelievably useful in a wide range of crowd-pleasing recipes: upgraded salads, last minute hors d'oeuvres, easy lunches and hangover-curing breakfasts, to name a few. Here, 12 of our favorite reasons to keep prosciutto on hand at all times.
1. Prosciutto-Wrapped Persimmons
For easy hors d’oeuvres, wrap prosciutto around persimmon wedges and roast them until the meat crisps and the fruit turns tender and sweet.
2. White-Bean and Prosciutto Bruschetta
Strips of prosciutto top each toast and are topped in turn with a mound of creamy white beans and sprinkling of crisp red onion.
3. Creamy Parsnip Soup with Prosciutto
This luxuriously silky soup is the perfect starter for a dinner party because you can make it in advance, then reheat and garnish just before serving.
4. Brioche with Prosciutto, Gruyère and Egg
Suzanne Goin’s sumptuous open-face sandwich combines all her favorite things: toasted, buttery bread, big slabs of melted cheese, prosciutto and fried eggs.
5. Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Crispy Capers
Fried capers add a delectable, salty crunch to pasta tossed with fresh tomatoes and prosciutto.
6. Butternut Squash Casserole with Leeks, Prosciutto and Thyme
This squash-studded bread pudding is the ideal accompaniment to roasted meats and birds. Or, cut into large squares, it’s great as a main course with a green salad on the side.
7. Sea Bass with Prosciutto and Sage
This buttery, fragrant, decadent riff on classic saltimbocca comes together in minutes.
8. Orecchiette with Prosciutto and Melon
Don’t be afraid of this strange-sounding dish. The prosciutto-and-melon combination we’ve always loved as an hors d’oeuvre tastes great with pasta and tomato sauce, too.
10. Chunky Artichoke and Sunchoke Soup
This creamy soup from chef April Bloomfield is simmered with a layer of prosciutto on top, which adds fantastic flavor.
11. Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Oyster Mushroom
In this elegant salad, chef Fabio Trabocchi tosses lightly sautéed oyster mushrooms with arugula and tops them with thin slices of prosciutto and Pecorino Toscano.