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Summer Appetizers off the Grill

Summer Appetizers off the Grill
Zucchini Cream Cheese Roll-ups

Zucchini Cream Cheese Roll-ups

It’s August and the harvest demands to be reckoned with!  Since this is the week of the Italian holiday called Ferragosto, I thought I’d focus on summer appetizers and drinks using Italian ingredients.  Here are a couple of Italian-style appetizers, and if you’re interested in the Italian cocktail, you can find the Watermelon-Limoncello Mojito recipe  at this link:  balconybartender.com

Recipe for Grilled Prosciutto Melon Skewers:

This is so easy it’s not really a recipe, but boy is it good!  You can use any fruit with the prosciutto to get that sweet and salty taste.  I used pears, watermelon and cantaloupe because that’s what I had on hand.

Grilled Prosciutto Melon Skewers

Grilled Prosciutto Melon Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small watermelon
  • 1/2 cantaloupe
  • 2 Bartlet pears
  • 6 oz. prosciutto
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Get the grill temperature up to a fairly high heat.  I used an indoor grill turned to “sear”
  2. Cut fruit into wedges thick enough that a bamboo skewer can go through them lengthwise without breaking apart the fruit
  3. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the fruit wedge.  Slide a bamboo skewer through the fruit wedge lengthwise and place on the grill
  4. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until you get grill marks on the prosciutto.  Remove and squeeze some lime juice over the skewers (alternatively, place on a platter with lime wedges and let the guests squeeze the lime juice over their skewer).

Recipe for Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

Zucchini Cream Cheese Roll-ups

Zucchini Cream Cheese Roll-ups

  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 8-inch-long strips of zucchini, about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches wide
  • lemon zest and fresh thyme for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat indoor grill to sear or high heat (or get outdoor grill up to high heat).
  2. For filling:  In a small bowl mix together the feta, cream cheese, mayonnaise, thyme, lemon juice only 1 Tbsp of the oil, and the salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse the zucchini but do not peel.  Use a mandolin if you have one to slice long flat strips of zucchini. Make sure they are at least 1/4 inch thick or they will fall apart on the grill, and they should be about 8 inches long.  With a basting brush, spread remaining 2 Tbsp oil over zucchini slices and place on  the grill.  Grill over direct heat until tender, about 2 minutes per side
  4. Remove zucchini slices from grill and let cool.  When cool spread about 1 tsp of the filling over each slab of zucchini and roll up each slice.
  5. Top off each with a garnish of lemon zest and fresh thyme.  You can skewer them with small picks if they are too thin to stand up on their own.

IMG_7514 (640x480)Enjoy these appetizers with friends and family at your summer picnic accompanied by a Watermelon Limoncello Mojito.  Ciao!

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