Julie Nolke prepares an appetizer that is so delicate and delicious that you will want to make it at every dinner party.
1 unripe green pear
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
8-10 slices of prosciutto
8-10 fresh basil leaves
Maple Syrup (optional)
This recipe works best with pears that are slightly unripe. Take the pear and slice it into eight wedges. Remove the seeds and stem.
To poach the pears, dissolve the sugar in water in a pot over medium heat. Once completely dissolved and simmering, add the pears to the pot and leave to poach for 15-20 minutes. The reason I like unripe pears for this is that they stay firmer in the poaching process.
Once poached, remove the pears and let them drain on paper towel. Once they are cool enough to touch take an olive-sized amount of goat cheese and press it into one side of the wedge. Lay one basil leaf on top of the goat cheese. Then, to secure it, wrap the whole thing in one prosciutto slice. (I sometimes find that the slices are too big and there is too much meat and so I cut them thinner before wrapping.) Repeat with the rest of the pear.
Place all 8 wedges, skin side down on a platter and sprinkle over top with your chopped basil. Finally using your thumb, block most of the mouth of the maple syrup bottle so that only a dribble comes out.
Drizzle a small amount of maple syrup over for extra sweetness to contrast the salty prosciutto and goat cheese.