Grilled Peaches with Pecorino and Prosciutto

 

Peaches with pecorino and prosciutto. How could you not love a dish with so few ingredients that they are all listed in its name? Three ingredients and fifteen minutes to pull together an appetizer that makes you look like a culinary genius. It took me longer to take the photos than it did to make the dish.

The only adjustment I made to the recipe was to slice the peaches into 1/8ths instead of halves. Half a peach seemed a bit heavy for an appetizer, and wrapping the prosciutto around the slices guarantees you salty, buttery goodness in every bite.

Summer is the height of season for peaches, which are harvested between late spring and early autumn depending on the location. Ripe peaches are naturally soft and sweet, and I salivated from the hint of caramel wafting through the kitchen as the peaches sizzled on the grill. I would have preferred to make this on a traditional charcoal or gas grill, but modest-sized New York apartments do not give me that luxury. Instead I called on my trusty Cuisinart griddler, which was still able to produce the beautiful grill marks associated with summer dining.

We often see the combination of peaches and cream. The prosciutto turned out to be a good savory substitute for the cream, bringing both a salty taste and a buttery mouthfeel to the dish. We splurged for prosciutto di Parma. Although, I have not really compared this to the domestic version; I will have to pick up some domestic prosciutto slices tomorrow and perform a side-by-side taste test. Do you notice the difference?

Eating only the soft, caramelized peach and fatty prosciutto left a heavy taste in my mouth. That is where the pecorino cheese came in. Its tangy, pungent flavor offset the heaviness the way lemon juice and vinegar cut through olive oil in a balanced vinaigrette.

Pecorino is also known to pair well with honey and prosciutto. So this recipe is a play on that flavor trio, with the caramelized peaches taking a hearty center-stage in place of the honey. Thinking through this recipe gave me an interesting revelation. I do not need to feel pressured to be able to make up my own recipes from scratch. Instead it is a matter of taking tried and true flavor combinations and making substitutions with ingredients that have a similar profile, but that are different enough to offer a new angle on a classic.

Grilled Peaches with Pecorino and Prosciutto

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 firm but ripe large peaches, halved, pitted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 very thin slices pecorino cheese (each about 2×2 inches, shaved with vegetable peeler from large wedge)
4 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray; prepare barbecue (high heat). Brush peach halves with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill peaches until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Place on large plate, skin side down; top each with cheese slice and drape with prosciutto. Serve immediately.

Bon Appétit
August 2006

21 Responses to “Grilled Peaches with Pecorino and Prosciutto”

  1. Sally

    If pecorino cheese is not available, what other type of cheese can be substituted?

    Reply
    • tastypursuits

      Pecorino romano cheese is very similar to parmesan, but it has a sharper, saltier flavor. If you cannot get parmesan, you can use any other hard, sharp cheese such as asiago.

      Reply
  2. ysu

    The picture looks so pretty and delicious.
    It makes me want to go shop for Pecorino to make this dish!

    Reply
  3. Jo-Ann

    This looks really good. I’m inspired to cook/bake/blog myself (“,)

    Reply
  4. Yourfan

    Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. I cant wait to try it at home!

    YUM YUM YUM. Cant wait for more posts!

    Reply
  5. Atina

    Your photos look amazing! The food is so beautiful. Did you dress it with anything? How do you think a little reduction of balsamic would be? Maybe too sweet? Anyway, great job! Can’t wait to see more.

    Reply
    • tastypursuits

      Great idea on the balsamic reduction! It would probably be a good combination with the sweet of the peaches and the salty of prosciutto.

      Reply
  6. tastypursuits

    I picked up some domestic prosciutto and conducted a taste test with the prosciutto di Parma. The domestic version tasted like straight up salt, while the di Parma version had a mellow meatier flavor. Verdict: definitely splurge on the di Parma especially since you don’t usually use a lot of it in a recipe.

    Reply
  7. Gabby

    Hi – Fantastic website….it’s so beautiful to the eye!!
    I”m actually having a family bbq this weekend- and I think this will be an AWESOME appy…thanks for the great idea…I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

    Reply
    • tastypursuits

      Mmmmm…you could also set some of the grilled peaches aside (sprinkle with brown sugar to caramelize while it is grilling) then top with mascarpone and nuts for a double duty dish. Tell me how it turns out if you try that as a dessert because I just made that up.

      Reply
  8. Rachael Campos

    The beet recipe looks delish Hazel!! I love beets, they are so good for you. It’s said they are a big help in defeating cancer, iron deficiency, anemia, urinary tract infection, kidney stones…what an amazingly tasty way to do it!!

    Reply
    • tastypursuits

      I am figuring out ways to make the beet ravioli a little healthier for a friend and will post the result. At a minimum low-fat ricotta. The parmesan should be okay because there is so little of it and it packs a lot of flavor. Now to figure out a “light” version of a creamy sauce. The wonton/gyoza wrappers are fairly healthy when eaten in moderation. They are made from wheat flour, eggs, starch and salt. Since there is so much flavor, you can eat only six ravioli with a side salad and feel satisfied.

      Reply

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