Montasio_Cheese (Family Features) Making dishes worthy of a choice restaurant menu doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen. It’s more about choosing top-drawer ingredients – and here are a few you can pick up in the deli department. They’re all members of an elite club of authentic foods made according to traditional methods and are certified PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) by the European Union. 

Grana Padano, a cheese made only in the Padana Valley in Northern Italy, is terrific for easy but sophisticated dishes.
Prosciutto di San Daniele is a special ham, produced in San Daniele del Friuli, in the Northeast of Italy, and like all PDO products, it must pass the strictest inspection.
Parmigiano Reggiano, renowned for its complex flavor, is made exclusively in Parma, Reggio Emilia and three other neighboring Italian provinces.
Prosciutto di Parma, a delicately flavored, all-natural ham, is produced in the gently rolling hills near Parma.
With legendary European foods, it’s easy to make restaurant-quality dishes like these. For more serving ideas and information about the PDO system, visit  
Asparagus, Orange and Prosciutto di San Daniele Salad
Yield: 6 portions
  • pound asparagus, trimmed
  • tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • tablespoon orange juice
  • teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • slices Prosciutto di San Daniele (4 ounces), halved
  • lengthwise
  • navel oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
In salted water, cook asparagus until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water; pat dry.
In small bowl, whisk olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Divide asparagus on salad plates and drizzle with dressing. Arrange Prosciutto di San Daniele and orange segments over asparagus; sprinkle with pine nuts.

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