Jamón Crudo con Palmitos y Tostones!

If you love entertaining as much as I do, then you understand how important appetizers are!  They are a subtle introduction to a meal, a way for guests to mingle and wet their appetite while not getting too full!  The following appetizers would be great accents to a Latin or Caribbean style meal.  Each dish is simple to prepare, look fabulous and most importantly taste amazing.

My inspiration came from:
a. My friend Luciana posted a FB photo of smoked salmon wrapped heart of palms, they looked amazingly divine!
b. I have never been, but my dear friend Amorena tells me that I must try Tango Sur in Chicago. They offer an appetizer of Prosciutto wrapped Hearts of Palm (served up by swanky Argentinian servers yielding sticks of carne!)
c. My love of tostones!

Hearts of Palm are very delicate and tender.  If you buy the canned, which is more typical than fresh (especially here in Michigan), I would describe them to be similar to artichoke hearts.  I enjoy a good interesting fact so here you have it:  harvesting wild palm plants actually kills the plant because they only have one stem.  In order for us to enjoy the tender heart of palm the inner core of the palm stalk is extracted, which kills the plant.  But DON’T WORRY, fortunately, for the wild palm and consumers of palm hearts, palms have been domesticated and bred to produce multiple stalks.  This allows the farmer to extract the heart of palm while the plant sustains.  Hooray!  A guilt free and plant friendly heart of palm.

Well, enough introducing of the introduction here you have it:
Prosciutto Wrapped Hearts of Palm Marinated in Red Wine Vinegar with Parmesan and Tostones with Golf Sauce.

Recipe 1

Prosciutto Wrapped Hearts of Palm (Jamón Crudo con Palmitos)
serves about 4

1/4 lb Parma Prosciutto
1 can Heart of Palm
Big splash of red wine vinegar
Big splash of olive oil
Fresh Thyme (for taste)
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan

Whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar and dash in the thyme to taste.  Now, to wrap the heart of palm in prosciutto.  If the heart of palm is rather large go ahead and cut it in half.  Lay the heart of palm on an end of an outstretched piece of prosciutto and roll, then cut in half.  Lay the pieces of wrapped palm in a glass or plastic dish and pour over the olive oil and vinegar.  Allow this to marinate at least 4 hours or up to one day.  Serve on a nice dish and grate fresh ground pepper and Parmesan atop.

 

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