Is there any better way to eat salad than piled high on top of a golden, crunchy goat cheese prosciutto crostini? This recipe is the ultimate appetizer to wow your next guests!
The fantastic thing about crostini is the endless combination of toppings that you can explore. But even then, after making a lot of different crostini recipes in my life I still sometimes find myself getting a bit stuck for new inspiration. I often find myself going back to the same tomato and olive oil combinations,
The other day I was making a gorgeous salad with vibrant kale, sweet raisins and moreish cooked barley and I felt like it was missing an element of ‘crunch’. Just like that, this goat cheese prosciutto crostini recipe was born!
This recipe gives you the perfect combination of crunchy from the bread, salty from the goat cheese, and sweet from the raisins and craisins, and the added fiber and micronutrients from the barley and kale will leave you feeling completely satisfied. I originally made this recipe as an impressive but no-fuss appetizer, but after realizing how quickly it comes together and how well the ingredients store in the fridge it’s become a regular in our house!
This recipe makes an amazing light lunch, or an impressive appetizer for your next dinner party or romantic at-home date night! The salad keeps incredibly well in the fridge so you can make more crostini throughout the week or simply enjoy the salad on its own or as a side. This recipe comes together incredibly quickly with a total time of only 20 minutes, and for such a simple set of instructions the final product looks and tastes like a five star dish!
Crostini Ingredient Notes
Goat cheese and prosciutto is a wonderful pairing, with the tart, soft flavor of goat cheese combined with the delicately sweet and salty flavor of prosciutto.
- Prosciutto (or you favorite meat): Prosciutto is a type of Italian dry-cured ham that has a delicate, slightly salty flavor and a tender, silky texture. I love it with crostini but you can also substitute with jamón serrano, capicola, bacon, pancetta, Culatello, Black Forest dry cured ham or your favorite meat.
- Goat Cheese (not crumbles): Often called by its French name, Chèvre, meaning goat, pick your favorite soft goat cheese – the bite from this cheese helps to cut through the sweetness of the dish! If you aren’t usually a fan of goat cheese, try to look for one that says it has a milder flavor – the cream will also soften the flavor further.
- Asian Pears: You should be able to find these at a local Asian supermarket, or you could use whatever pear you have on hand in a pinch. Asian pears are usually smaller, firmer in texture and have a bright, sweet flavor.
- Kale: The hardy dark green kale stores extremely well in the fridge and won’t get soft and mushy – perfect for making more crostini later! You could swap the kale out for any other hardy dark leafy green, or if you’re not a fan of the texture of dark greens then you could use baby spinach or another lettuce, but I would recommend only adding the salad dressing as you plate up, to avoid the salad getting soft.
- Raisins and Craisins: For a burst of juicy sweetness – if you don’t have both, you could just use one or the other. For a fresh alternative, you could add slices of your favorite stone fruit like peaches or nectarines.
- Pear Champagne Vinaigrette: I found mine at Trader Joe’s but you could sub this out for any other light and sweet vinaigrette.
- Crostini Bread: Crostini in Italian means little toasts and crostini bread is most commonly made from a crusty French baguette. Any long artisan loaf will work as well.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
- Salad: Cook your barley as per the package instructions then mix that together with your thinly chopped kale, craisins, raisins and dressing.
- Bread: Coat your fresh bread slices in olive oil then broil until golden brown.
- Goat cheese: In a small bowl combine the goat cheese and heavy cream, and mix until smooth.
- Assemble: Top each side of crunchy bread with a layer of creamy goat cheese, some salty prosciutto, thinly sliced pear and a generous mound of sweet kale salad. That’s all there is to it!
- Gluten free: To make this recipe gluten free, swap the bread out for a gluten free loaf and swap the barley out for sorghum or buckwheat (which, despite the name, is actually gluten free!). You can also omit the grains all together if you would prefer, the recipe just may not be quite as filling.
- Vegetarian: You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by removing the prosciutto or subbing it out for a meatless prosciutto alternative. While you’re at Trader Joe’s to get your champagne pear vinaigrette, you can pick up some of their fantastic vegan bacon alternatives which would be a great swap in this recipe.
- Dairy free: Dairy free goat cheese can be hard to find, but you can swap out the goat cheese with your favorite non-dairy cream cheese alternative, or simply top the bread with some non-dairy butter and add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to mimic that salty, savory note.
Store your salad and cheese mixture in separate air-tight containers in your fridge – they should last 3 – 4 days. For your crostini, simply wait for them to cool down to room temperature and then store at room temperature in your pantry in an airtight container. These can comfortably last for 5 days so you can make a big batch and eat them throughout the week as a snack, light lunch or an appetizer!
With so many fantastic variations to this recipe, I don’t think I’ll be getting sick of it any time soon! Let me know if you try this goat cheese prosciutto crostini, or any of the alternatives.
- 2 cups thinly chopped kale
- 3 TBS. craisins
- 3 TBS. golden raisins
- 1 bottle of pear champagne vinaigrette (found at Trader Joe's)
- 1 cup cooked (and cooled) barley
- 1 loaf of bakery fresh bread (thick crust, preferred)
- ½ cup goat cheese
- 2 TBS. heavy cream
- 1 package of prosciutto
- 2 Asian pears (thinly sliced)
- Cook barley according to package instructions. Set in the fridge to cool (about 15 minutes).
- Set the oven to broil. Slice the bread, and lay on a baking sheet. Coat with oil.
- Thinly chop kale and add to a medium-sized bowl. Add craisins and golden raisins and top with about 3 TBS. dressing. Toss together until well coated.
- Place the crostini in the oven for about 3 minutes or until just golden brown (be sure to keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly).
- In a small bowl add the goat cheese and heavy cream and mix together until creamy and smooth.
- Once the crostini's are toasted, add a layer of goat cheese then about 2 pieces of prosciutto per slice of bread.
- Top with thinly sliced pears, then add the kale mixture. Serve immediately!
Try these appetizers next!