Grilled bread + fig spread + cheese + prosciutto + grilled pear = scrumptious. This combination is seriously addictive. You’ll see. I’ve been grilling pear slices for some time now. They’re always a hit with my family and friends. And they’re a great addition to a cheese board …they really do pair up well with so many cheeses. My favorites are blue cheese and shaved parmesan. For this recipe, I wanted to come up with something unique that could be presented as a ready-made combo. Can’t go wrong with bruschetta.
This can be easily tailored to suit your taste. Try it with goat cheese or parmesan shavings, instead of the swiss. For a vegetarian version, omit the prosciutto. Switch it up with a sprinkling of your favorite fresh herbs.
Prepare the bruschetta toasts first. I sometimes make them on the outdoor gas grill. For this presentation, I used my grill pan on the stovetop. Once the bread is ready, set it aside and use that pan for grilling the pear slices.
The pears can be sliced into thin wedges or, as seen here, into discs. Use an apple corer to remove the stem and seeds, then use the mandoline for uniform, thin slices of 3/16″ each.
Once the bread and pear slices are grilled, the bruschetta can be assembled and placed on a platter for everyone to enjoy. Alternately, you could set up the ingredients on a large wooden board and let everyone build their own …sort of like a “bruschetta bar.” That’s where you can get a little crazy and offer a variety of cheeses, meats and herbs. I wouldn’t mind being invited to that party.
grilled pear & prosciutto bruschetta
A delightful combination of salty & sweet.
- 8 ounces french bread, cut into 8 diagonal slices (3/4 " thick)
- extra virgin olive oil, for brushing & grilling
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 2 Red Anjou pears, cored & sliced into 3/16" rounds (about 8 ounces)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons fig preserves
- 8 pieces of very thinly sliced swiss cheese (3 ounces)
- 8 thinly sliced, narrow strips of prosciutto (2 ounces)
- fresh basil leaves
Preheat a large grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the bread slices very lightly with olive oil. Place slices in the pan in a single layer. Keep a close watch for grill marks. After about 4 to 5 minutes, flip the bread over to grill the other side. When grill marks are apparent (another 2 to 3 minutes), remove bread to platter or board. Gently rub just the top side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic clove. Set aside.
Using the same grill pan, heat over medium heat. Brush the surface of the pan with olive oil. Before placing the pear rounds in the pan, lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Grill slices in a single layer until fruit is softened and grill marks have appeared on the underside of each (about 3 to 5 minutes). Flip over and grill the other side for another 2 minutes, checking for grill marks before removing from pan. If desired, salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the cheese and prosciutto will add a substantial amount of saltiness to the finished bruschetta.
In a small bowl, combine the softened butter with the fig preserves. Mix well.
Assemble bruschette: Spread about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of butter & fig mixture on the top side of each grilled bread slice. Top with a slice of cheese and a strip of prosciutto. Fold 3 grilled pear rounds in half and place them in an overlapping layer on top of the prosciutto. Add some basil leaves for garnish and flavor. Serve immediately.