Recipe: Prosciutto Wrapped Griddled Nectarine Caprese Starter
Be they family, friends or dates, as much as I love to eat out, I have a compulsive need to cook for other people. While I do love spending time in the kitchen making indulgent favourites just for me, most of the recipes I put together are with other people in mind. Last year when match.com asked me to come up with a recipe for their Aphrodisiac Cafe I came up with these Chocolate, Summer Berry & Amaretti Cheesecake Cups for two. This year, when they asked me to come up with another date-ready recipe, I decided it might be an idea to put together a date night starter, because selecting a main and a dessert are the easy bit.
As we’re having such a beautiful Summer here in England at the moment, you don’t want to be making too much heavy food to eat out on the patio with your date and crisp, ice cold glasses of rose wine. A caprese salad is such an easy dish to throw together, and it is light without it being overly ‘salad’ like (I know plenty of guys who get suspicious of salad leaves!), just tear together good quality mozzarella and fresh basil, and throw in some sliced cherry tomatoes. This time of year, unless you go to the markets or grow your own you’ll get the most intense flavour from baby tomatoes, than bigger ones. Dress with a good drizzle of the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find, the same with French sea salt and grind with some freshly ground black pepper.
However, as well as being suspicious of salad, I know a fair few guys who are even more suspicious of any dish that does not contain any meat. They also like grilling things. Have you ever wrapped slices of beautifully ripe nectarines or peaches in prosciutto or parma ham, and then griddled them either in a hot, oiled griddle pan over a high heat, or on the barbecue? As well as looking pretty, they become the most intense pockets of sweet and salty sunshine flavour, and prove the perfect upgrade thrown over two plates of caprese. You’ll need one nectarine or peach and one of those small, half packets of cured ham between the two of you.
As I mentioned, last Summer match.com hosted a pop up cafe with blogger created recipes in London. This year, they’ve asked a few of us to come up with a couple of ‘internet inspired’ date ideas that may be either dreamy, or just that little bit out of the ordinary. As well as putting together this simple yet delicious starter as something you could make for any Summer date (you can take all the ingredients with you and make it together on a picnic, just without the grilling), after attending Pinterest UK’s Pinterest inspired, fiesta themed 2nd birthday party a few weeks ago, it struck me that the best place to collate internet inspired date ideas (food, locations, cocktails, outfits, etc.) would be on a Pinterest board. Obviously.
While I have thrown in a good few things that should be accessible date ideas for everyone, such as recipes for chocolate dipped strawberries, London date ideas and outdoor picnic for two inspiration, there are a few more fun, more out there ideas on there too such as dining out in the Moroccan desert, recipes for a chargrilled seafood platter (which anyone who does not live near the ocean or a London fishmonger knows is more than just wishful thinking!) or inspiration for a ice cream fuelled walks along the Seine in the Spring sunshine in Paris. I’ll be adding more to my ‘Date Night’ board over the next few weeks, so be sure to head over to Pinterest and hit follow! Also, be sure to head over to match.com‘s Twitter page (@match_UK) to find out more about their #InternetsBestDate competition they are running next week, where you might be in with a chance to winning said ‘Internets Best Date’? I for one am rather curious!
Have you been on any either casual and sunshine-filled, or wild and far flung dates recently, or have you cooked a special meal at home for a loved one over the last few weeks? I’d love to hear some of your stories! Also, where do you usually go for date night inspiration when it is your turn to make plans?
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