Thursday, April 7, 2011

San Simon Prosciutto Appetizers

Appetizers are fabulous. So easy, so simple.

I can make a meal of them.I love grazing at a party. I love having appetizers left over from a party and eating them for lunch the next day. There's just something comfortable about appetizers.

Bite-sized. Pretty. Colorful.

I love appetizers with cheese--of which I'm now becoming a mavin, but not an expert...never an expert.

(I have a stack of books by experts, and I will never purport to be one of them. On the right is a picture of a few of my cheese reference books. They include Steve Jenkins, Liz Thorpe, and so many more.)

Today I thought I'd share a fun little tidbit. It can be made gluten-free or regularly by the choice of bread or cracker. It's what goes on top that counts.

But first, the cheese itself.

San Simon.

It's a smoked Spanish cheese made from cow's milk in the region of Galicia in the northwest of the country. The curd is transferred into pear-shaped moulds. After a day, the forms are immersed in hot whey. After two weeks, the cheeses are smoked. It is soft and has a delicious buttery texture and a thin chestnut-orange rind.

Pretty, isn't it?



Baguette slices or Gluten-Free Pizza

San Simon CheeseOlive Oil


Kalmata Olives, pitted


Cornichon pickles and olives for garnish


Slice the baguette or GF pizza into bite-sized pieces. Brush with olive oil on both sides. Grill in a saute pan for about a minute each side. Remove from heat and set on plate.

Slice the San Simon into thin 1-2” wedges. Roll 1-2” squares of prosciutto into tiny tubes.

Slice Kalmata olives into decorative slices.

Place the baguette or GF pizza on appetizer plates. Top with the cheese, then the prosciutto tubes, then a slice of olive. Garnish the plate and sprinkle it all with paprika.

**3 per serving seems to be the perfect size, so purchase your ingredients accordingly.

CLICK HERE for a pdf of this recipe.


Question of the day: What's your favorite appetizer to serve or enjoy?

I've started a LOST AND FONDUE launch contest that runs from now until May 3, the day LOST AND FONDUE comes out. Details are on my website, but here's the skinny. All you have to do is read THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE (in your library, at the store, on your Kindle, I don't care) and tell me where you find TUSCAN TARTUFFO CHEESE (hint, it's not that far in). You'll write me, via the website, and you're entered. 1st prize is either a fondue pot or $50 gift certificate to your favorite booksellers. There are other prizes as well.


And for today, to kick it all off, to one commenter, I'm giving away this little cheese knife called a coltello tagliagrana inox from Italy. [Don't you love the name?] Winner announced tonight at 11:30 p.m. PST.

Also, check out my blog tour schedule LINK. There are little surprises in store while I'm on the "virtual road" [first guest blog April 11th].



  1. There's just something about appetizers, isn't there? I'd love to just eat them for a meal, too! I love all the ingredients for this recipe, so it's a sure bet for me to fix it--thanks!

  2. This appetizer sounds amazing! I love the cheese knife as well. Y'all are so creative!

  3. I would inhale these in an instant. Prosciutto is one of my faves, and the Spanish cheese sounds delicious. I'm with you on eating appetizers for dinner, too! You asked about a favorite appetizer and one of my favorites is stuffed mushrooms. I'll have to make them soon now that I'm thinking about it. (They’ll taste great with your crustini!)

    Eat with joy!
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. So glad you're enjoying these. I'm so delighted we have this blog to share different inspirations with so many friends.


  5. I love appetizers and find it hard to come up with new ones that don't take hours of work. These will be perfect. Thanks, Avery.

  6. You bet, Mary Jane. And congrats on your release this week! What fun. May your book sell up a storm and delight all your readers!


  7. So many lovely flavors together. Prosciutto lends itself so nicely to appetizers. Yum!

    ~ Krista

  8. Oh my gosh, Avery, I'm with you on the appetizers. I've actually suggested we do a couple of family events all-appetizer, and they've gone over exceptionally well. Everybody loves them! Thanks for the cheese lesson. I've been experimenting more lately -- all because of your wonderful books!

  9. Two easy prosciutto appetizers: wrap shrimp (tail-on works best)in prosciutto and grill for not-very-long. The original recipe said to toss the shrimp first in oil and dill but we forgot once and liked it as much or better.

    Cut a fennel bulb in 6 or 8 pieces, depending on how big it is. Wrap each piece in prosciutto and grill -- the prosciutto sort of steams the fennel. We've also broiled these with success.

    And yes, Cleo, stuffed mushrooms -- mmm!

  10. I'm an appetizer gal too and often make a meal out of them. When my college-age niece was a toddler she called them picnics, so our house has always been known for our parties and "picnics"! Your picture has inspired me to have an afternoon snack of Brie, Carr's water crackers and Kalamatas. Will have to look for San Simon next trip to the Big City.

    I always enjoy your interesting tidbits, Avery, along with your books. Off to search my copy of The Long Quiche Goodbye! Thanks for the contests!

  11. I love yellow cheese such as Colby or Cheddar. I never thought about there being cheese books.

  12. Leslie, your appetizers sound delish.
    Krista and Julie, always love to see you chime in. Thanks!
    Lynn, picnics. Love that!
    Michelle, yes, cheese books. I don't know what I'd do without them. I need a reference guide. There is always so much for me to learn about cheese and the variety of tastes.



  13. Being a cheese lover I found myself reading your book with pen and pad at my side jotting down names of cheeses I wanted to try. Looking forward to the next one!

  14. Joan, how sweet. Yes, I find myself jotting down the names, too. I was going to post a list on my website but thought it wouldn't matter to anyone. I also post the recipes I mention in the book. It's not easy writing about food. I'm always hungry.


  15. This appetizer looks yummy. Looks simple enough to make.

    I'm loving the recipes here. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  16. Thanks, Dru, for chiming in. They're pretty darned simple! :)