Grilled Pears Wrapped in Proscuitto

July 9, 2010



My cup runneth over this past month.  I felt so lucky this Father’s Day to be able to celebrate with the 2 best papas on the planet: my hubs and my Daddy-O. My folks live an hour away from us and visit once a week; a girl can’t really ask for more, can she? Well, okay, I’d really love one of those electronic maids like they had on The Jetsons, but besides that, I’m pretty set.

Usually on holidays, I opt to serve a late celebratory lunch. That way, nobody has to rush in the morning, and nobody’s going to have to drive home, stuffed and sated, in the dark. This year was no exception.

We opted for a simple meal of caramelized onion burgers, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes and Kettle Chips; however, I had to gussy something up for the occasion, so I picked a fancy little appetizer to whet our whistle while the grill heated.

I wanted to use peaches for this appetizer, but they’re not quite *there* yet in our neck of the woods, so I opted for Anjou pears. A quick wrap in salty prosciutto, a brief turn on the grill, and a shower of balsamic syrup, and you’re done. But here’s the thing–something this simple really tastes sophisticated–like something you’ve worked on for hours.  The grill softens the pear until it’s sweet and supple, and the salty char of the prosciutto gives a smoky edge, and topped with some sweet/savory balsamic love? Bliss.

Try this one at your next get-together. People will swoon. It would also make a lovely lunch dish, served over a bed of mixed greens. With some nice crisp Pinot Grigio, if you are really lucky.

A little aside: In the midst of the holiday ruckus, I forgot to put away the balsamic syrup after we’d drizzled it over our appetizers. I discovered the pitcher on the patio, many hours later, and there was a gaggle of drowned mosquitoes floating in there.  So if you have a skeeter problem, I suggest that you make up a big batch of this balsamic glaze, put out several bowls of it, and hey! Instant  pest control! Balsamic syrup=Mosquito Kryptonite. Who knew?

Grilled Pears Wrapped in Prosciutto with Balsamic Reduction

serves 6

3 Anjou pears, ripe but still firm

6 slices Prosciutto di Parma, cut in half

drizzle of lemon juice

Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

For reduction: Whisk sugar and balsamic together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until  mixture is thickened and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Cool.

For pears: Heat grill to medium-high. Core pears and cut each pear into 4 pieces. Drizzle pears with lemon juice to prevent browning. Wrap each piece tightly in prosciutto, pressing to adhere. Grill pears on direct medium heat, 2-3 minutes a side. Remove from grill. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

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