Who doesn’t need some quick appetizers in their repertoire? These prosciutto crostini generously slathered with goat cheese and topped with caramelized onions & spinach are quick and easy, but elegant and impressive for any occasion.
Goat cheese and prosciutto is one of my favorite flavor combinations. The tart creaminess of the goat cheese and the salty prosciutto is wonderfully satisfying. And the caramelized onions add sweetness to offset it in the best way. Then the lightly toasted bread and cheese contrasts with the cool prosciutto and spinach for the best combination of flavors and textures.
Caramelized onions are wonderful to add depth of flavor to many dishes and I love to add them wherever I can. When you are caramelizing onions, cook over medium to low heat and stir regularly rather than trying to rush it over high heat to achieve the perfect caramelized onion.
Baby spinach is best for this recipe. The leaves are far more tender than the adult spinach, which makes it more pleasant to eat raw. Adult (or large spinach) leaves will work, but I recommend choosing the smallest leaves for the best texture and flavor.
If you are not a fan of spinach, arugula is great in combination with prosciutto and goat cheese and a nice alternative. I’ve used prosciutto and arugula a couple of times in other recipes: in pizza or salad. It has a nice subtle spice to it to celebrate winter. Or in summer I would suggest the addition of some finely sliced basil as your complimentary green.
Crostinis are a great way to use day-old bread. Because you are adding soft cheese on top and then toasting them, the moisture soaks into the bread, refreshing it. But don’t worry – fresh bread is even more amazing. Be sure to choose a nice crusty loaf for best effect.
Crostini make great appetizers because they are so straightforward to make, very adaptable, and easily portable. Essentially they are small and elegant open sandwiches. Perfect for party finger food – and are also very satisfying on so many other occasions.
Some of my other favorites for filling finger foods that you can eat any time are asparagus tart with goat cheese, avocado chicken on pineapple, shrimp stuffed potatoes, or cranberry chicken salad on apple slices. Not quite a finger food, but definitely belonging on this list of versatile foods is Lomi Lomi salmon in avocados. I would eat any of these – and sometimes have – at any time of the day.
Make it a Party
A full meal of finger foods and appetizers is a great way to do a casual party. This style of party is great because you don’t have to have multiple warm dishes ready in the right order. You can prepare everything ahead of time and enjoy the party with everyone else. Choosing some of these more filling options means you don’t have to make as many things to have everyone feeling satisfied. It is also a perfect way to accommodate a lot of different dietary restrictions.
But really, you can eat these prosciutto crostini at any time. Lunch, light summer supper, or afternoon snack. The first time I made them was for a quick savory breakfast! One of my favorites, right up there with prosciutto and spinach omelet muffins.
Prosciutto Crostini with Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 5 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 red onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- a handful spinach leaves , sliced into ½-inch ribbons
- 8 thick slices ciabatta or other Italian bread
- 5 oz. (140g) soft goat cheese
- 4 oz. (113g) Prosciutto , thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and red onion. Cook until tender and slightly translucent. Add the balsamic sauce to the onions, mix well and cook over high heat for a minute or two. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the caramelized onions and sliced spinach leaves and set aside.
- Spread goat cheese on each slice of bread. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese softens.
- Remove from the oven. Top with prosciutto, the mixture of caramelized onions and spinach, and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. Serve and enjoy!