These fancy prosciutto and mozzarella roll appetizers are my contribution to “better late than never” category of party recipes. It may be just one day before New Year’s Eve, but surely someone is still searching for quick and delicious appetizers.
Besides, these are so easy that you can make them, spur of the moment, for any party at all. You can even justify having them on a Friday evening sitting on a comfy couch chatting with a friend, or in front of a screen binging your favorite new show.
Prosciutto is Italian for “ham.” In the food world, prosciutto refers to aged, dry-cured meat from the hind leg of the pig. It should be cut paper thin, edged with a narrow ring of fat. Prosciutto does not need to be cooked. For the differences among prosciutto, pancetta and bacon, check out this informative article from The Kitchn.
Mozzarella is a soft Italian cheese. Water buffalo or cow’s milk is typically the base, although there are goat’s milk or sheep’s milk versions. Fresh mozzarella is either vacuum sealed or sold in brine. Buffalo mozzarella is amazing – tasty and soft – like eating a pillow of cheese. However it is expensive and not widely available in the U.S. Fresh cow’s milk mozzarella is also soft and delicious, not at all like the harder, low-moisture mozzarella typically grated for lasagna or pizza. By the way, burrata may look like fresh mozzarella, but it is different, with a creamy inside “pouch” that almost spills out when you pierce its outside layer.
I’ve loved both prosciutto and fresh mozzarella for decades, but honestly hadn’t thought of pairing them – let alone making them into a simple appetizer – until yesterday. Then in one day, I saw them twice. Doing errands, I found a vacuum-sealed version in an Italian store. The small package cost way more than it should have, and I moved on. An hour later, another version of the appetizer stared out at me from the Costco prepared appetizer case.
I’m no fool. Two sightings within an hour is no coincidence. I realized that fancy prosciutto and mozzarella roll appetizers are a “thing.” Maybe this trend won’t last. It might go the way of the chocolate-covered frozen banana or the cronut. But then again, maybe it will become like bagels, once an ethnic specialty but now an all-American food sold everywhere.
Either way, this appetizer is simply too timely to ignore. So for those of you who prefer homemade, either because you know it tastes better or because you like to save money, here it is.
Tips for Making Fancy Prosciutto and Mozzarella Roll Appetizers
- Use the Best Ingredients You Can Find – This appetizer relies entirely on the taste of the two ingredients, so the best quality ingredients are essential.
- Slicing mozzarella – It’s easiest to slice the mozzarella log when it is cold. If it is too soft when you take it out of the refrigerator, put it into the freezer for a 30-60 minutes before slicing it. Also, use a large sharp knife. This is no job for a small kitchen utility knife.
- Chilling Time a/k/a Perfect Advance Preparation Appetizers – Once rolled, these appetizers need to chill. That makes Fancy Prosciutto and Mozzarella Roll Appetizers the perfect make-ahead appetizer. Prepare the rolls in the morning and cover them with waxed paper. Shortly before serving, cut them into bite-sized morsels, add the toothpicks and you’re ready to party!
Fancy Prosciutto and Mozzarella Roll Appetizers
These simple, yet fancy appetizers take only minutes to make. They will be an elegant addition to your partyPrep Time 10 minutesChilling Time 30 minutesTotal Time 10 minutesServings 4 servings
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 8 ounces prosciutto, sliced paper thin
Place pieces of prosciutto, either 1 or 2 layers thick, over the mozzarella slices.
Roll the prosciutto and mozzarella. Lay the rolls on a parchment or waxed paper-lined container. Refrigerate, covered for at least 30 minutes.
Gently slice the rolls into 1/2-inch thick, bite-sized morsels. Add toothpicks and plate.
If you want to get even fancier, add a layer of fresh basil leaves or roll these around a grape tomato instead of rolling them tightly on themselves.