Potlucks can be a tricky thing, especially those that don’t come along with assigned categories. For those of us who fall a bit more on the type-A side of the spectrum, they can fray the nerves a bit. What will people bring? What if the flavors don’t really mesh together? Will there be 20 pies on the table, nary a savory snack in sight? And that’s when the calmer folks among us remind us that having multiple desserts on the table is never really a bad thing.
But that’s not what happened at all at the Food in Jars potluck event held by Maggie of Eat Boutique a few weeks back. It was the most well-balanced, delicious potluck I have ever encountered. There were vegetable laden tarts, homemade breads and cheeses, smoked chicken wings, and plenty of gorgeous summer fruit desserts. And yes, there was a lot of food in jars, just as there should be for an event celebrating this cookbook! A few of us marveled at the impressive and varied spread and chalked it up to the natural order of potlucks: apparently home cooks fall into either the sweet or savory camp and rarely visit the other side.
I know you are all dying to know if I went sweet or savory. Well, then answer is, I sort of did both. The last time I went to a potluck at Maggie’s, I brought one of my all-time favorite savory snacks for a crowd: the fig and prosciutto flatbread. It is a simple thing to put together and always makes people very happy. But at that same event, I fell in love with another version of the meat + fruit combination from blogger Abby of the 5th Joy. She gently wrapped late summer fruit, herbs, a bit of cheese in a blanket of salty prosciutto. I found that I could not get enough of that sweet and savory combination.
I attempted to recreate that here, with fruit that was readily available in mid-summer. I realized in the process that this snack can be a standby for months on end, transitioning with what’s in season. In July and early August, apricots and plums make a lot of sense. Now that peaches are overwhelming the market, I would head in that direction. Later this fall, I will look towards apples and pears and a heartier cheese. Wrap them all in bit of quality prosciutto, and you have the perfect summer or fall appetizer.
There isn’t much of a recipe to share here, since you really are just cutting up fruit into bite-size portions, adding a bit of cheese and herbs (you don’t need a lot of either here, since their flavors are so strong) and then wrapping it all together with prosciutto, but I do have a few suggestions for different combinations.
Apricots + goat cheese + basil
Plums + mozzarella + basil (a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar was nice here, too)
Peaches + goat cheese + basil
Apples + cheddar or gruyere + sage
Pears + blue cheese (such as stilton) or taleggio + honey