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Prosciutto-wrapped Pumpkin

This is Autumn's answer to Summer's classic hit made with melon.

Prosciutto-wrapped Pumpkin

Serve this and your dinner guests might do a double-take! This delicious dish so closely resembles prosciutto & melon in both shape and color, but tastes like the celebration of fall flavors that it is. Dense and sweet Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) slices are wrapped with prosciutto, sprinkled with fresh sage leaves, and drizzled with olive oil before being roasted in the oven until tender and caramelized. Enjoy this recipe as a light main course with a green salad or as a hearty side dish. You can prepare this without the tender, edible green skin, if you insist.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; spoon; rimmed sheet pan; parchment paper; offset metal spatula or tongs

Ingredients: 1 Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)

12-16 slices of prosciutto 12-16 fresh sage leaves 2-3 tablespoons olive oil kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

3. Slice the Kabocha in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and then cut each half into 6-8 slices, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

4. Wrap each pumpkin slice with one slice of prosciutto, spanning as much of the pumpkin as possible.

5. Place the prosciutto-wrapped pumpkin slices on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet drizzled very lightly with oil. Place a sage leaf atop each slice, then drizzle the sage leaves and pumpkin slices lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and the prosciutto has crisped.

ILOC tip: do not drizzle too much oil on the parchment paper before placing the pumpkin slices. Too much oil will prevent the pumpkin from caramelizing as the sweet flesh roasts in the oven.

6. Remove from the oven, season with kosher salt, and serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 side dish servings.

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