An outstanding, elegant and flavorful appetizer course integrating sweet caramelized pear with the salty flavor of prosciutto and bleu cheese. Just divine.

Prosciutto with Caramelized Pears
Recipe type: Appetizers
Serves: 6
  • 3 pears (Bosc preferred)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons blue cheese (Gorgonzola dolce* preferred)
  • 3 Tablespoons mascarpone cheese*
  • 12 slices prosciutto (Prosciutto di Parma preferred)
  • 6 sprigs of watercress (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 Cup skinned and toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash and fry pears, slice them in half lengthwise. Rub the pear halves all over with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on a heavy sheet pan and roast on a rack set low in the oven until soft and cut sides have browned and caramelized (40 -45 minutes)
  3. Meanwhile, place blue cheese and mascarpone in mixer and cream together. Taste and season with salt an pepper if desired. Set aside.
  4. Arrange 2 slices of prosciutto on each of 6 plates and position a watercress sprig on the side.
  5. When the pears are soft, remove them from the oven. Remove the cores with a spoon. (Recipe may be done ahead to this point. Reheat in oven before continuing.)
  6. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the hollow of each pear half. Return to the oven until cheeses melt (5 to 7 minutes).
  7. Transfer half-pears, 1 to each plate on the prosciutto. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over each and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve at once with a fruity red wine such as dolcetto.
(* Available at Italian markets and some specialty food stores)

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