Prosciutto, Pear and Grana Padno Crostini is just the appetizer your holiday menu is looking for. Whether you are in need of snacks for a casual wine and cheese night or simple bites before a big holiday meal, this promises to be your go-to recipe.
This post is sponsored on behalf of Icons of European Taste. As always all opinions are my own and thanks for supporting brands that I work with.
Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? I’m having trouble accepting that 2020 will be here in just a matter of weeks! For now, it’s time to start planning my Thanksgiving dinner menu. For the most part menu planning is easy for me – I’m hosting this year and it’s rare that our menu deviates from the traditional. Turkey, stuffing, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese – it’s all packed in there but where I really tend to falter at is small bites before the big meal.
I either go too big or too small, this year I have found the perfect medium in these Prosciutto, Pear and Grana Padano crostinis. Packed full of fall flavor, it only requires a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time. With such a small ingredient list in these crostinis, it’s important to pick the highest quality ingredients to really make this dish stand out.
If you ask anyone where was my favorite place to vacation in all the destinations I’ve been to, the first answer is always Italy. Why? It’s because they make the best food from their pasta, to bread, to cheese and prosciutto.
Who are the Icons of European Taste?
The Icons of European Taste take their food seriously with each region having their own specialities of exceptional quality, produced using the same techniques artisans have used for centuries. Most specifically I’m talking aboutProsciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano. Both of these products carry the coveted PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) seal from the European Union. The PDO seal guarantees authenticity on these high-quality products and it’s something I look for every time I go shopping.
What is Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano?
Prosciutto di San Daniele is produced in North Eastern Italy in the Fruili Venezia Guilia region, just north of Venice. It’s an all-natural product that is dry cured for 13 months and the only ingredients are select thighs from Italian pigs, sea salt and the air of San Daniele de Fruili. The taste is delicate and delicious eaten as is, thinly sliced and drapped onto an antipasto platter. It’s also delicious on top of pizza, eggs, salads or pasta.
Grana Padano is a hard grating cheese made with partially skimmed raw cow’s milk. It’s Italy’s most popular hard grating cheese and I understand why. Grana Padano has been made under strict supervision using the same traditional methods used by the monks who created this cheese over 1000 years ago! This cheese has a finely grained texture and can be aged to over 24 months. It must be produced in Padano, a northern region of Italy in order to retain the name.
How to identify Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano
You can purchase either product at most high quality delis and grocery stores. At the deli counter ask to see the San Daniele “SD” inside the shape of ham branded onto the skin of the whole ham. Grana Padano is easily recognizable by it’s marks of origin on the rind. If the marks are not there, it’s not Grana Padano.
Now that we know how to identify these great ingredients, putting together the rest of this crostini is easy as 1,2,3!
What Ingredients do I need for my Prosciutto, Pear and Grana Padano Crostini?
Most of the ingredients are located right there in the title! Here’s the remainder that you need.
- Good quality baguette, sliced into rounds
- Olive oil + salt and pepper
- Soft cheese such as mascarpone or goat cheese
- Prosciutto di San Daniele
- Grana Padano
- 1 baguette
- 4 ounces mascarpone or goat cheese
- 2 ripe pears, any variety
- 4 ounces Prosciutto San Daniele
- 2 ounces grated Grana Padano + extra to top
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the baguette into 1 inch thick rounds. Place on a sheet pan, drizzle both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Toast for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Flipping halfway through.
- In a small bowl combine the grated Grana Padano and mascarpone cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Thinly slice the pears, discarding the core into 1/4 inch slices.
- To build your crostini, spread a small amount of the mascarpone mix on top of the baguette round, top with a slice or two of pear, then a thin slice of Prosciutto San Daniele. Finish with a small amount of grated Grana Padano on top. Serve immediately.
Mascarpone is a mild, creamy soft cheese and balances nicely with the flavor of Grana Padano. Goat cheese works just as well but will add a tangier note to the dish.