Prosciutto is the ultimate local food. In Italy, it’s known as Parma, the city near which it’s made, and the hogs used to make it are raised on the whey of cheese produced nearby. To make prosciutto, the ham is salt-cured and air-dried, but not smoked. Because it’s cured, it’s completely safe to eat raw.
Though prosciutto originated in Italy, it’s produced in other countries, as well, using the same specific standards and processes. The ham is rubbed with a mixture of salt and spices, then hung to air dry for anywhere from 9 months to 2 years.
Prosciutto is usually served in paper-thin slices. It has a rich, buttery flavor that complements fruit, especially melon. It’s often part of an antipasto platter. Use it instead of bacon to elevate any dish.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango with Balsamic Reduction
This salad is a simple pleasure. Simple ingredients. Simple to prepare. Its brilliance lays in its uncomplicated combination of ingredients, sweet, salty, tangy. The key is selecting the highest- quality, buttery prosciutto; the sweetest, ripest mangoes; and a good quality balsamic vinegar mellowed ever-so-slightly by a bit of honey and a slow simmer. It’s a no-brainer for entertaining, when simple dishes with big flavors are a must.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 – 2 tablespoons honey
4 cups mixed baby greens, rinsed and patted dry
2 ripe mangos, peeled and sliced
2 ounces thinly-sliced prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Make the Balsamic Reduction:
Stir together balsamic vinegar and honey in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the vinegar thickens. Set aside to cool. The reduction will continue to thicken as it cools.
Assemble the Salad:
Line platter with salad greens. Wrap each mango slice with a piece of prosciutto. Arrange on top of the baby greens. Sprinkle with shaved parmigiano reggiano. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and olive oil. Serve immediately.