Pear and Prosciutto Canapes
Think of Italian food and you might find pizza and pasta are the first dishes that come to mind, but what are you going to serve as your Italian appetizer? If you are having a sit-down dinner, worthy candidates for your first course might include vitello tonnato or Italian artichoke pie, but perhaps you want finger food instead, which is where this recipe comes in very handy. We are using prosciutto di Parma or Parma ham, a wafer thin cured meat, along with pear and goat’s cheese.
The ham is filled with pear and goat’s cheese along with a few salad leaves for added color. You can then drizzle some lemon juice or extra-virgin olive oil (or both) over, before rolling up the canapes and serving them as finger food. Do not add too much oil or lemon juice. You only need a few drops for flavor and you do not want these dripping if they are finger food. Alternatively you can serve them on small plates rather than as finger food, maybe adding some extra salad leaves to the plate as a garnish. These are so quick and easy to prepare.
Prosciutto, or Parma ham, is often served as part of an antipasti platter, along with Italian cheeses and perhaps some olives and nuts as well. It is versatile though. It can be used to wrap chicken breasts before baking them, or it may be fried and crumbled over Italian dishes. Here though we are using it to wrap fruit and cheese, combining meaty, salty, sweet and creamy all in one perfect little mouthful. You can make these a few hours ahead if you want. Just keep them covered and refrigerated.
- 8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma (or Parma ham)
- 1 ripe pear
- 4 oz goat's cheese
- Large handful of baby salad leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Lemon juice, for drizzling
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Core the pear and cut it into 8 lengthwise pieces.
- Cut the goat's cheese into 8 long pieces.
- Now divide the pear and goat's cheese between each slices of ham.
- Add some salad leaves in there too.
- Drizzle in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil.
- You can use lemon juice instead of, or as well as, the oil.
- Grind over some salt and black pepper.
- Now you can roll them up and arrange on a serving platter.
- Garnish the serving platter with more salad leaves if you like.
These might look very dainty and elegant but they could not be simpler to prepare. These little canapes are made by wrapping pear, goat’s cheese and a few salad leaves in prosciutto or Parma ham, adding some extra-virgin olive oil or lemon juice in there too if you like. You will not need to hold these closed with toothpicks because the ham should wrap a couple of times around the filling, and they do not fall apart when you pick them up anyway. These make a nice appetizer if you want to offer your dinner guests a little taste of Italy before you bring out the main dish.
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