Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gina's Gems

For a printable version click here
Gina's Gems

This is a most impressive appetizer. Dried fruit comes to life when plumped in Marsala wine. The cheese and nut filling is wrapped in tissue-thin prosciutto and served warm on a small silver platter with lemon and lime wedges.

Marsala wine, Sicilia, Italy.Image via Wikipedia

4 ounces dried figs, whole

4 ounces pitted large dates, whole

4 ounces dried apricots, whole

1 cup Marsala (I have also used Madera, Vermouth, dry Sherry, or white wine)

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup favorite nuts, toasted and chopped

8 ounces imported prosciutto, thinly sliced

Juice of one lemon

Lemon and lime slices (garnish)

Chopped fresh Italian parsley (garnish)

Cut the figs in half and combine with the dates and apricots in a small bowl. Cover with 1 cup white wine and let marinate at least one hour or overnight, tossing a few times.

Process the cream cheese, nuts and 1 tablespoon marinating liquid in a food processor until blended, refrigerate until cold for easier handling.

Drain the marinated fruit reserving the liquid. Slit each date and apricot down the center and open each fig half along the cut side to form a pocket. Fill each piece of fruit with a teaspoon of the cheese mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut strips of prosciutto to wrap around each stuffed fruit. Sprinkle with some of the reserved marinade as you work to keep the prosciutto moist.

Place the wrapped fruit on a baking sheet and bake until heated through, 7 to 10 minutes.

Let cool slightly, arrange on a serving dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, garnish with lemon and lime slices. Sprinkle with parsley.

Dates Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese & Wrappe...Image by talekinker via Flickr

Makes about 40 appetizers

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