Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto

Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto is the best summery appetizer! Made with fresh bread, tangy goat cheese, fragrant basil pesto and salty prosciutto, this combo makes a great welcome for dinner guests.

pesto crostini on a wood board

Pesto Crostini Recipe

This summer I've been reminiscing about my summer abroad in Italy. Not only did that experience help me to see the world, but it's also where I fell in love with food.

Italian food has always been a favorite, but I feel deeper and harder for the fresh pastas, crusty bread, the cheesy pizza, the wine... I could go on and on.

Oh, it was the best time. I'm biding my time until I can go back with my husband (and maybe the kids?) but until then I'll just have to settle for cooking Italian dishes at home.

One of my favorite Italian foods is pesto. It's the star of the Caprese sandwich, but it pairs so well with all kinds of dishes, from salmon to pasta.

It also works especially well with bread. I love making crostini for an easy appetizer, and it's a great way to highlight pesto, especially if it's homemade. And even better if it's made with basil grown in your garden.

If you've ever wanted to make homemade pesto, here is a perfect recipe to try out. Making pesto is really all about the ratio of ingredients and this post will teach you the perfect ratio for homemade pesto, including this Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe.?

What is pesto?

Pesto is a spread made from pulverized basil leaves, olive oil, salt, nuts and parmesan cheese. The nuts are usually pine nuts or walnuts.

I also like to add a splash of lemon juice and spinach to mine, though sometimes I use kale.

The result is an herby, salty spread that works beautifully as a spread for appetizers, stirred into pasta or spooned over a protein like chicken, fish or pork.

a bowl of pesto next to a board with pesto crostini appetizers

Ingredients

Crostini is an incredibly easy appetizer. I love to make one or two types to serve before a party or simply if we are having friends over.

  • a baguette or other crusty bread, sliced
  • olive oil
  • goat cheese
  • prosciutto or pancetta
  • basil pesto
  • chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper

Let's dig into a few of these and talk about the substitution options and what to buy at the grocery store.

Baguette

The best bread for crostini is a baguette.

Head to your favorite bakery (or the bakery section of the grocery store) the day you plan to make this recipe for the freshest taste.

The day before will work as well, but baguettes tend to dry out quickly so you want to save this for the last possible minute.

Sometimes I like to freeze baguettes in advance so I can guarantee I have them on hand before a party! Trader Joe's also sells frozen baguettes.

If you are buying at a bakery or store, you can ask them to slice it for you. They will likely have a slicing machine to do it for you so you don’t have to struggle at home. (If you do have to slice it yourself, make sure you use a serrated bread knife!)

If they don’t have any baguettes, you can use a couple of small loaves of bread or sandwich rolls.

Lately I've been into making sourdough bread, and it makes a great crostini too if you make it in a similar size and shape to a baguette.

a pieced of bread with goat cheese, prosciutto, basil and walnuts

Goat Cheese

It's no secret that goat cheese is one of my favorite things. I love it in these rosemary drop biscuits and these chicken meatballs. And it's perfect for these crostini too.

When it comes to goat cheese crostini, you want to buy the kind of goat cheese that is spreadable, like the logs or a spread. Bring it to room temperature so it’s softened, which will make it easier to spread onto the tough bread.

You can use plain or flavored goat cheese, I have seen herbed goat cheese that would work amazingly in this crostini recipe.

The reason you want spreadable goat cheese for crostini is that it works as a sort of “glue” to latch onto the prosciutto so that it doesn’t fall off the toasted bread when you pick it up or take a bite.

However, If you don't want to use goat cheese, a slice of buffalo mozzarella would be really good. Actually, I think I'm going to do buffalo mozzarella next time! So Italian.

Feel free to substitute your favorite spreadable cheese. A few ideas:

  • cream cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • feta cheese
  • burrata
  • boursin
  • vegan cheese

Prosciutto

Use the best prosciutto you can afford. It’s worth it, I promise!

Prosciutto always takes me back to my study abroad days in Italy — we used to snack on it and eat it on sandwiches for lunch.

If you can’t find prosciutto, you can use salami, bacon or pancetta. Or, leave it off for a vegetarian crostini. Prosciutto appetizers like this one pair beautifully with an Americano cocktail.

If you've ever wanted to make homemade pesto, here is a perfect recipe to try out. Making pesto is really all about the ratio of ingredients and this post will teach you the perfect ratio for homemade pesto, including this Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe.?

Pesto

You can buy pesto pre-made at the store, but trust me when I say it's sooo much better fresh.

My Homemade Basil Walnut Pesto is a classic but you can get creative with other combinations of greens, herbs and nuts. There are no rules when it comes to crostini!

Toppings

I used chopped walnuts to give this crostini a finished look, but feel free to leave the chopped walnuts out of it if you like. Instead, you can use pine nuts or almonds.

A piece of fresh basil would be pretty too, as would a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

You could also dot each crostini with a halved cherry tomato to add some color. (Would be cute for a Christmas party!)

closeup of folded prosciutto on a piece of bread with cheese and pesto

How to make pesto crostini with prosciutto

Making this pesto appetizer is a cinch. Here's what to do:

  1. Slice baguette into 20 pieces ¼-inch thick, and place on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush to spread 1 tablespoon olive oil on each slice. Toast at 350°F for 5 minutes or until golden on top. Set aside.
  2. After bread is toasted, spread room temperature/softened goat cheese on each slice.
  3. Cut prosciutto slices in half or thirds so you have 20 pieces. Fold them so they are the same size as the bread, and place on top of the goat cheese.
  4. Top with a spoonful of pesto and place chopped walnuts on top. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
pieces of crostini appetizers on a wooden serving board

More summer appetizer recipes

More crostini recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

a pieced of bread with goat cheese, prosciutto, basil and walnuts

Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto

Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto is a lovely appetizer with all the flavors of Italy!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 pieces
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces goat cheese room temperature
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • ½ cup pesto
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Slice baguette into 20 pieces ¼-inch thick, and place on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush to spread 1 tablespoon olive oil on slices. Toast at 350°F for 5 minutes or until golden on top. Set aside.
  • After bread is toasted, spread room temperature/softened goat cheese on each slice.
  • Cut prosciutto slices in half or thirds so you have 20 pieces. Fold them so they are the same size as the bread, and place on top of the goat cheese.
  • Top with a spoonful of pesto and place chopped walnuts on top. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 2crostini | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 641mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

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