Many years ago, my parents had the mad idea of driving from Dublin to Tuscany for a summer holiday, with two children in a car with no air conditioning. Parma was the first city I visited in Italy on this journey and I fell in love with it. It’s a very lively but elegant student city. My main memory was how every single person looked like they had just stepped out of a fashion magazine. I also remember the fantastic food. Each Italian city has its own distinctive food culture, and Parma is no exception, being home to Parma Ham. All the ham is produced in the hills around the city as it has been for over 1000 years. I’ve been a big fan of both for years, so I was happy to come up with a recipe for the festive season using Parma Ham.
Prosciutto with melon is a classic Italian combination. I wanted to create a recipe that put a bit of a festive spin on the fruit and Parma Ham combination and could be scaled up for a party. Pears are seasonal throughout Autumn and Winter so they seemed an obvious choice. Caramelising them adds a little bit of decadence and the blue cheese gives a nice creamy balance. If you wanted to make a gluten free version of this, you could wrap the ingredients up in the ham like an involtino. This is a quick and easy recipe that you can prepare in advance and assemble at the last minute, perfect if you’re entertaining guests.
Makes 18 crostini
- 88g Parma Ham (6 slices)
- 150g soft blue cheese like Saint Agur or Gorgonzola
- 2 conference pears
- 25g butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Slice the pears into 1cm thick slices.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium high heat.
- Add the sugar.
- Fry the pear slices in batches in the butter and sugar until caramelised (around 5 minutes).
- Remove from the pan.
- To assemble, slice and toast the bread.
- Divide each parma ham slice into three pieces.
- Put a slice of parma ham on each slice of bread, smear half a teaspoon of blue cheese on top, and finish with a slice of caramelised pear.
This post was sponsored by Parma Ham as part of their Pass the Prosciutto Campaign.
Follow Parma Ham on Twitter for a chance to win $50 worth of the world’s most famous ham. Click on the banner below to participate. This post is a collaboration between Canal Cook and Parma Ham.