Perfect for last-minute entertaining, this Prosciutto Puff Pastry Tart is really easy to assemble and always a crowd favorite! Bursting with lots of different flavors and textures, this tart will become your go-to appetizer for the holidays.
This post is sponsored by Icons of European Taste, a joint promotional campaign to promote Prosciutto di San Daniele, Grana Padano and Prosciutto di Parma.
The easiest savory tart you will ever make!
It’s official! Christmas season is here.
All the stores are playing Christmas music, the neighbors have dusted off their humongous garden Santa and home cooks everywhere are freaking out about their holiday menu.
“Main dish, sides, desserts, cocktails… oh, appetizers! Do I really need appetizers with all the food I’m going to serve? Either nobody touches the hors d’oeuvres that took me hours to make or they eat them all and then don’t have an appetite for my special Christmas roast.”
Calm down! Take a breath. Repeat this mantra with me: appetizers are not my enemies. Again! Appetizers are not my enemies.
I have a rule. If I’m hosting a cocktail party, I go crazy with the apps. If there’s a feast for supper, the appetizers are simple. Usually a nice cheeseboard or something quick to assemble, like this prosciutto puff pastry tart.
So if you’re ready to let go of all the stress and try something easy this holiday season, give this a try! You might be surprised at how impressed your guests will be with something that took virtually no effort to make.
What is prosciutto di Parma?
Prosciutto di Parma is an air-cured ham made in the Parma region of Italy.
A couple years ago, I was there and had the privilege of visiting a prosciuttificio. If you would like to know more about how prosciutto is made, you should check out my article.
But for now, all you need to know is that Prosciutto di Parma is made without any additives, preservatives, hormones, gluten or coloring agents.
The hams are aged for at least 400 days and go through strict quality controls before they get the Parma Crown branding.
How to buy prosciutto di Parma
Unfortunately, if you go to the charcuterie counter at the grocery store and simply ask for “prosciutto”, chances are you won’t get the authentic Parma Ham.
You need to specify the prosciutto by production area – usually Prosciutto di San Daniele (from the San Daniele del Friuli region) or Prosciutto di Parma.
Hopefully, once they take the leg to slice, you will be able to see the fire-branded ID on them to make sure they are giving you the real deal!
Oh, and make sure you go somewhere where they know how to slice them properly, without trimming too much of the fat, as the fat is essential for that melt-in-your-mouth sensation that only high-quality prosciutto gives you.
The difference between Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele
While both are PDO-certified by the EU and produced using only two ingredients – locally sourced pork and sea salt – under very strict supervision, they are not the same.
There is a subtle difference in flavor and texture, due to different terroir and climate of their respective regions.
Grana Padano VS Parmigiano – What is the difference?
Both Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses are from Northern Italy, originally made by monks. Each has PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status under EU law and are made under strict supervision and aging guidelines using the same traditional methods used by the monks 1000 years ago.
As for the differences, Grana Padano – Italy’s most popular hard grating cheese – is produced in the Po River Valley (Pianura Padana), while Parmigiano can only come from the cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua.
And while Parmigiano is made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk, Grana Padano is made only with partially skimmed raw cow’s milk from the production area.
Because of that, Grana Padano is more delicate, slightly sweeter and less nutty and salty than Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is also more affordable, hence why I love using it to make pesto!
Ingredients for Prosciutto Puff Pastry Tart
Here’s what you’ll need to assemble this appetizer tart:
- Puff Pastry – store-bought or homemade.
- Olive Oil – choose a good quality, extra virgin olive oil.
- Pine Nuts – you can substitute walnuts if you prefer.
- Grana Padano
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Olives – I like to use small pitted black olives.
- Prosciutto di Parma
How to make Prosciutto Puff Pastry Tart
Make pesto, spread it on puff pastry, bake and top with all the delicious things.
Seriously, it’s easy like that! And you get to customize it with whatever you have on hand.
Let’s make it:
- Combine the basil, Grana Padano, pine nuts and garlic in the jar of a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Roll your thawed puff pastry into a large rectangle, approximately 10×15 inches. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and, using a knife, gently score a line 1 inch away from the edges, all the way around. Prick the inside of the rectangle all over with a fork, to prevent it from puffing in the oven.
- Spread the pesto sauce evenly inside the rectangle.
- Top with the halved cherry tomatoes.
- Brush the edges with egg wash (egg beaten with a teaspoon of water).
- Bake at 400 degrees F until light golden brown. Once out of the oven, push down any puffy places in the center with the back of a spoon.
- Top with prosciutto di Parma, olives, grated Grana Padano and more pesto sauce.
Can I use store-bought pesto?
I would be lying if I said it tastes the same. Fresh pesto is much better, especially when made with Grana Padano.
But if you’re in a pinch, yes. Store-bought pesto is better than no pesto.
Can I make puff pastry tart ahead?
I find that puff pastry appetizers are best straight out of the oven. But if you must bake them ahead, let them cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Then top with everything and serve at room temperature.
- Basil Pesto Sauce – Can be substituted for Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Arugula Pesto or Pistachio Pesto.
- Black Olives – Substitute for your favorite olives, but make sure they are pitted. You can also omit if you’re not an olive fan!
- Cherry tomatoes – You can use regular tomatoes, sliced, or omit altogether.
You can also add:
- Other veggies: asparagus, chopped broccoli, mushrooms, caramelized onions, leeks, artichokes, etc.
- Chopped nuts – pistachios, almonds, pine nuts.
- Fruits – figs, persimmons, apples.
- Fun toppings: balsamic glaze, blue cheese, chili oil, crispy kale or whatever your heart desires!
How to serve puff pastry tart
I usually serve this tart as an appetizer. My guests are always lavish with their oohs and aahs when the tart is presented!
It is also great as a brunch dish (maybe with a fried egg on top!) or a light lunch, served with a green salad.
Pair it with sparkling wine and fruity whites to balance the slightly salty flavor of the prosciutto.
For the pesto sauce:
- A small bunch of basil (about 2 ounces)
- 2 cups (2.5 ounces) Grana Padano, grated (plus more for topping)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the prosciutto tart:
- 1 sheet puff pastry, homemade or store-bought, thawed
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 5 ounces Prosciutto di Parma
- 2 tablespoons small black olives
- Egg wash (one egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the basil, Grana Padano, garlic and pine nuts in the jar of a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil and continue processing until combined, pausing to scrape down the sides if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
- Roll the puff pastry into a 10x15 inches rectangle and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, lightly score a 1-inch border around the edge of the pastry, creating an inner rectangle. Prick the inner rectangle all over with a fork, to prevent it from puffing in the oven.
- Spread 2/3 of the pesto sauce evenly inside the rectangle and top with the halved cherry tomatoes.
- Brush the edges with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Once out of the oven, push down any puffy places in the center with the back of a spoon.
- Top with torn pieces of Prosciutto di Parma, olives, Grana Padano and the remaining pesto sauce.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pesto Make-Ahead: The pesto sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 195 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 551mg Carbohydrates: 3g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g