Salty, crisp pieces of torn prosciutto embellish fresh toasted baguette, whipped ricotta, and beautifully caramelized Brussels sprouts.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts
A process used extensively in cooking, caramelization is a technique whereby the oxidation of sugar results in an ingredient or group of ingredients yielding a sweet and nutty flavor and exhibiting a pleasing golden-brown color. In a phrase, caramelization is ‘the coaxing of natural sugars to make food taste good.’
And if you thought you absolutely couldn’t learn to like Brussels sprouts, think again. Using the process of caramelization, the natural sugars found in the sprouts will help to both toast up and sweeten the sprouts. They take on a nice crispness and are altogether delightful when combined with the salty prosciutto and lemon-scented creamy ricotta for this very adult, very seductive holiday appetizer!
Thinly sliced prosciutto and thick slices of toasted bread are the basis for what I consider to be among my most favorite and EASY appetizers of all time, Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts
A subtle lemon-scented whipped ricotta cheese is topped with crisped prosciutto, nutty sprouts, and drizzled with honey. Sliced almonds embellish this masterful snack.
If you’ll be entertaining guests this holiday, nothing makes an event as festive and seriously beautiful as heavy hors D’oeuvres and plated handhelds. Having a fabulous crostini recipe can elevate a party instantly.
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts? Check The List!
a lemon for juicing and zesting
fresh Brussels sprouts
whole wheat baguette
crushed red pepper flakes
whole milk ricotta cheese
How This Recipe Came About…
For me, it’s not always about the main dishes offered at an event. In fact, I find I adore the passed edibles and plated handhelds more than I do the main meal. This recipe is one of those plated handhelds of which I speak.
I thought the whole thing simply brilliant when I saw it coming my way on a passed platter at a wedding last fall. I appreciated that it boasted the unfairly underrated Brussels sprout, a vegetable I haven’t always liked, but learned to LOVE once it was prepared the correct way.
The prep time on this is minimal, and the recipe easily modified to double or triple. The recipe as I have written it here will make 16 servings. Plan on two pieces per partygoer assuming they’ll try it with the Brussels sprouts.
What Cheese Can I Use To Replace The Ricotta?
If you are not a fan of whipped ricotta cheese, goat cheese works super well. It’s a bit tangier, but goat cheese crostini are terribly popular, so do not shy away from making this a substitution.
And while we’re at it, if you’re considering replacing the honey, a drizzle of a Balsamic vinegar glaze is lovely, too. The sweetness in the glaze mirrors the caramelized sprouts and is in sharp contrast to the salty prosciutto.
How To Make Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts?
Grab a sturdy baking sheet and your best olive oil. The first step here will be to zap the half-inch slices of wheat baguette in a hot oven brushed with only a bit of olive oil. I flip them after 3 or 4 minutes and toast them on the reverse, too.
Next, I add the ricotta to a deep mixing bowl with about a teaspoon of fresh lemon zest. Use an electric mixer to whip the ricotta for several minutes until it’s very, very smooth.
All that’s left are the sprouts and the prosciutto. Allow me to make a point here; when slicing, trimming, and tearing, keep in mind that this is a handheld appetizer. So as to not make it clumsy to eat, make sure you cut your sprouts and tear your prosciutto into bite-sized pieces. Your guests will thank you!
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Place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the torn prosciutto. Allow it to sear and crisp before moving it around in the pan. The goal is to crisp it up and to lightly brown it.
Remove the prosciutto to a bowl and immediately add the trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced sprouts to the drippings in the pan. DO NOT STIR. Rather allow them 3-ish minutes to turn golden on one side before stirring or flipping to cook until golden on the reverse, about another 3-ish minutes.
You want the sprouts to be “crisp tender” and slightly crunchy. This may mean leaving in the pan for an additional minute or two, or perhaps increasing your heat if they are not turning golden at all.
Finally, the prosciutto goes back into the hot pan along with some red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook the whole shebang for another minute or two.
Spread some ricotta on each toasted baguette slice, a sprinkle of Kosher salt, a good amount of the prosciutto and Brussels sprouts mixture, a healthy drizzle of honey, and the sliced almonds to finish.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
Some of the best prosciutto recipes involve a sweet element and an additional savory element. For instance, brie cheese makes a lovely base when paired with baguette and prosciutto. Brie and fig jam crostini is one of my all-time favorites.
In addition to brie and fig crostini, consider a peach and prosciutto crostini, a prosciutto goat cheese crostini, or a basic prosciutto arugula crostini with a drizzle of Balsamic glaze. The best crostini recipes are limited only by your imagination.
How Long Does Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts Take To Make?
Set aside 35 minutes for this appetizer. The prep alone will be less if you are able to find fresh Brussels sprouts already shaved at your grocer. Trader Joes offers sprouts purchasable this way and they are a HUGE time saver.
Can Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts Be Made Ahead?
Yes…and no. Everybody knows that throwing a party requires a lot of work, so getting as much of that preparation nailed down ahead leaves you more time to hang with your guests. That’s why this recipe is so fabulous, as all of its ‘parts’ may be made ahead and assembled fresh in a matter of minutes.
What To Serve With Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts?
Why, other crostini and Hors D’oeuvres of course! I’m partial to room temperature snacks while cocktailing.
I find my Southern Pecan Cheddar Wafers, Classic Muscadine Cocktail Meatballs, and Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters to be excellent additions to parties. Best part, all can be assembled and served warm or at room temperature and be a smash.
What To Drink With Prosciutto Appetizers?
Really, anything goes here! Bright whites, sparkling Rosés, or deep Cabs are all appealing and a safe bet to serve. And in terms of beer, prosciutto is salty, so beer need only be cold to be a great pairing!
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- Crostini with Brie, Coppa and Raspberry
- Classic Roasted Tomato Crostini
- Filet Of Beef Carpaccio With Capers, Olive Oil and Pub Sauce
- Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches And Prosciutto
Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostini With Peaches And Prosciutto
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- Large non-stick sauté pan
- bread knife
- baking sheet
- silicon brush
- microplane for zesting
Ingredients For Prosciutto Crostini With Ricotta And Brussels Sprouts
- 1 large lemon zested, juice; zest divided
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts fresh; trimmed, halved, and sliced thin
- 1 large whole wheat baguette sliced into 16 1/2-inch pieces on the bias
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 8 ounces prosciutto torn into bite-sized strips
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta may substitute creamy goat cheese
- 1/4 cup honey
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the slices of bread with 1/8 cup of the olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in oven until crisp, flipping halfway through and when lightly golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Add the ricotta cheese and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to a deep mixing bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the ricotta until it is very smooth. Set aside.
- Place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat with the remaining 1/8 cup olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the prosciutto and sear and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to move the prosciutto around the pan to keep it from burning. Remove using a slotted spoon to a bowl. Do not wipe pan clean.
- To the pan drippings, add the Brussels sprouts all at once in a single layer and do not stir. Increase the heat slightly to medium-high and allow to cook for 3 minutes undisturbed until golden brown. Monitor your temperature so they do not burn. Flip the Brussels sprouts and allow equal time on the reverse side to turn golden brown. Reduce heat.
- Add the prosciutto back into the pan and stir. Add the lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Cook 1 minute.
- Spoon some ricotta cheese mixture onto each toasted baguette slice. Top with the prosciutto and Brussels sprout mixture. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Serve at room temperature.
- toast the baguette slices and allow to cool. Place in a brown paper bag until ready to assemble
- whip the ricotta and cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble
- sear the prosciutto and Brussels sprouts mixture and allow to cool; place in a container and refrigerate until ready to assemble; reheat gently in a sauté pan over medium heat until heated through before assembling
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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