Friday, August 31, 2012

Prosciutto di San Daniele and Courgette Starter

Prosciutto di San Daniele is a PDO product and protected by the Italian State and the European Union.  PDO, or Protected Denomination of Origin products are followed throughout production.  This is to ensure that producers stay true to the areas the product comes from and methods of production.  Prosciutto di San Daniele has three conditions the producers must follow: 

1.)  The pig thighs it is made from must come from one of ten regions in Italy; Fruili Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, or Umbria.   

      2.) Following an ancient traditional production method, the meat can never be frozen.  The meat must quickly reach the town of Friuli and using sea salt the curing begins. 
        3.) The rest of the process must take place at San Daniele del Friuli.  It is said that the air is what makes this the best region for curing prosciutto, not too wet, not too dry.  

A starter that goes very well with a white wine - Courgette (zucchini to some) mingling with the Prosciutto di San Daniele, with pine seeds, lemon zest and parmesan cheese playing in the background on top of some lightly toasted garlic bread.  Finish with some drizzled olive oil.

Ingredient List:

3 oz. thinly sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele 
2 medium sized courgettes
1/4 c. toasted pine seeds
1 lrg. clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 c. shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of one lemon
1 small baguette
salt and pepper

Start by peeling the courgettes into about the size of Fettuccine.  Stop at the the seeds.  Boil some water with salt and flash the courgette "pasta" into the water, then into a bowl of ice water.  Drain all water and chill.  


While the courgette chills, use kitchen shears and cut the Prosciutto di San Daniele into strips, also like Fettuccine, set aside, covered so it doesn't dry out too much.  Cut the baguette into thin slices on the bias and brush with olive oil, you will need approximately 12 pieces.  Toast on both sides in a 400 deg oven., about 3 minutes each side.  Let cool.  While the bread toasts, zest a lemon.  When the bread is cool, generously rub with the garlic clove.  In a medium bowl; add the courgette, Prosciutto di San Daniele, pine seeds, zest, and season with salt, pepper to taste.  Lightly toss the ingredients, then fold in the cheese.   Place the toasted baguette slices on a platter, top with the Prosciutto di San Daniele and courgette mixture.  Drizzle generously with remaining olive oil.  Serve!    


It was so good with the wine that a pine seed got away from me.....



This is in Italian, but the pictures are great!



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