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
Author: Epicurus.com Kitchens
Recipe type: Appetizers
- 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)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- 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)
- Meanwhile, place blue cheese and mascarpone in mixer and cream together. Taste and season with salt an pepper if desired. Set aside.
- Arrange 2 slices of prosciutto on each of 6 plates and position a watercress sprig on the side.
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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)