Grilled Pineapple Wrapped with Prosciutto

Prosciutto: is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked. (Wikipedia)

Even though summer is coming to an end here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, it is never too late to serve a delicious appetizer consisting of pineapple and prosciutto.  While prosciutto pairs well with melons, it also tastes delicious wrapped around grilled pineapple.  Grilling pineapple allows the sugar to caramelize and intensifies its fragrance.  You don’t want to grill the pineapples too long as it will turn mushy and loses its’ flavor.

Grilled Pineapple Wrapped in Prosciutto

Grilled Pineapple Wrapped iwith Prosciutto

Grilled Pineapple Wrapped with Prosciutto

Fresh pineapple cut into wedges
Thinly sliced prosciutto
Reduced balsamic vinegar *optional

Preheat the barbecue and  spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.  Skewer the pineapples or place the pineapples directly on the grill and grill for 4 minutes on each side.  Be sure to not over grill it or it will turn mushy.  Remove and allow to cool slightly so you can handle it without burning your fingers.  (As an alternative, you can wrap the pineapples prior to grilling).  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around the pineapple.  Lay the grilled pineapples on a plate and drizzle reduced balsamic vinegar over it.

Crispy Baked Avocado with Lemon Aioli

 

Avocado

Crispy Baked Avocado with Lemon Aioli

Aioli: is a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and egg yolks. (Wikipedia)

I love eating avocados for its’ rich creaminess and health benefits.  Avocados are packed with carotenoids that help prevent eye disease, packed with fiber, are high in monounsaturated fats that helps keep your blood sugar down, and also lowers cholesterol.  I usually enjoy avocados in guacamole or mixed in salads but my new favorite method is coating them in bread crumbs and baking it.  This is a healthy alternative to deep fried fries and can be served with a dipping sauce such as lemon aioli.

Crispy Baked Avocado (serves 2)

1-2 ripe avocados
1/2 Japanese Panko crumbs or normal bread crumbs
1 egg white (I only use the egg white as the yolk is high in cholesterol but you can definitely use the entire egg)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut the avocado lengthwise and remove the pit.  Cut the avocados into slices and gently scoop it out with a spoon.  Dip the sliced avocados in the egg and then coat in the Panko crumbs.  You can use normal bread crumbs and add seasonings but I like Panko crumbs for its’ crunchiness that compliments the creaminess of the avocado.  I don’t like to add seasonings to the bread crumbs either as I love the taste of avocados but you can definitely experiment with different herbs.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the coated avocados on top.  Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until they start to brown.  Remove and serve with lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
zest, juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, minced (or you can use more depending on your preference)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt

Whisk the first 4 ingredients together.  Add salt as desired.

Stuffed Cocktail Tomato Appetizer

Bocconcini:are small mozzarella cheeses the size of an egg. (Wikipedia)

If you’re looking for a tasty, easy to make appetizer than this is for you. Selecting ripe cocktail tomatoes is key as well as using fresh herbs. This appetizer can be prepped ahead of time until ready to serve.

Stuffed Cocktail Tomatoes

Carton of cocktail tomatoes (depending on how many you need – I would plan for 2-3 tomatoes per person)
Container of cocktail bocconcini cheese, coarsely chopped
Handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
Sea salt
Reduced balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and using a melon scooper or a small spoon, scoop out the pulp.  Lay tomatoes upright on a serving tray.  If you’re having troubles making the tomatoes still without rolling, cut the bottom of the tomatoes so it has a flat bottom.  In a small bowl, combine the bocconcini and basil and drizzle a bit of olive oil to coat.  Season with a dash of sea salt.  Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes.