I have been wanting to visit Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden and a chance unexpectedly came across through an invite from Parma Ham to dine in this impressive Grade II listed building, and to try dishes curated by Damian Clisby, Chef and Restaurant Director at Petersham Nurseries, with each dish incorporating an element of Parma Ham.
The setting was absolutely serene and stunning with a large table garnished with flowers taking centre stage in the gorgeous room at the back of the shop, which I will definitely be returning to one day to have a look at their products.
As we arrived we were welcomed with glasses of chilled Prosecco and we chatted amongst each other whilst nibbling on canapés such as classic Prosciutto di Parma, mini melon skewers wrapped with Prosciutto di Parma, and Prosciutto di Parma and mozzarella croquettes, which were so dreamy!
What I learned that evening is that Parma Ham is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and is 100% natural, made from only two ingredients: Italian pork leg and sea salt. To ensure you are getting a top quality and authentic of Parma Ham, look out for the five-pointed coronet logo with PARMA in the centre on packaging as this certifies that it is protected by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma and guaranteed by the Ducal Crown.
Parma Ham makes a delicious snack either on its own or as an ideal ingredient in a plethora of recipes. I also love it baked till it is crispy!
For our meal, we started with a light summer salad of shaved asparagus with crispy Prosciutto di Parma, a soft-boiled egg, and hand picked leaves from a family farm of the owners of Petersham Nurseries in Devon. With drizzles of lemon and olive oil, it was absolutely divine and something I would definitely try to replicate at home.
For mains we enjoyed wood-fired monkfish, sourced from Cornwall, wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma and accompanied by borlotti beans cooked with butter, chopped parsley and tomatoes. Washed down with delicious wine, it was a lovely dish!
Dessert was what I was most intrigued about as it was Prosciutto di Parma and maple ripple ice cream. Whilst I would have liked a bit more ripple in it, you could definitely taste the flavours of the Prosciutto di Parma which was perfectly paired with the maple. Unusual but it really worked!
It was a wonderful evening and it is always nice to see how ingredients can be so versatile and opens up your mind to thinking outside the box when it comes to recipes. I could most definitely have ice cream with maple and Parma Ham all over again!
A big thanks to Parma Ham and Petersham Nurseries for a fabulous evening!