Peach, walnut ricotta and prosciutto on croute

Photographer: Emma
this will make approximately 50 canapes

This recipe suits particularly civilised outdoor eating.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all about throwing snags on the barbie, wrapping one in soft, white bread, drowning it in tomato sauce and washing it down with beer – but occasionally it’s nice to get a bit fancy.

However, eating beautiful little canapés can often be difficult and messy.  We’ve all been there – dropping components on the ground, biting half and ending up with all the meat in one go, loosing the sauce down your chest and the other half to the side of your mouth, all the while the person you are talking to pretends not to notice your battle with the tiny food.  You wish that you had politely declined the tasting as you’re left still hungry and embarrassed with a stained party dress (or shirt). 

These crouton canapés are finger food without getting your fingers in your food.   The soft, cured prosciutto wrap the ricotta and peach onto the croute, so it can be swiftly and neatly consumed.

When I prepare canapés, I use the formula of sweet, salty, soft, creamy and crunchy.  These elements just seem to work and can be adapted based on the season and availability of ingredients.   I wanted to use figs for this recipe but alas, it’s not fig season.  My lucky formula called for another sweet fruit and a crate of fresh Golden Queen peaches at the entrance to the fruit shop beckoned to me to use them over the other stone fruit abundant at this time of year.  


Poached peaches
6 peaches
1 cinnamon stick
1 long, red chilli
½ cup sugar

Walnut ricotta
500g ricotta
250g cream cheese
100g walnuts
2 tsp black pepper

2 – 3 Sourdough baguettes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

25 slices of soft prosciutto


Poached Peaches
1. Halve the peaches, then peel.
2. In a large saucepan, add 1 litre of water, the cinnamon stick, chilli and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to low, add the peaches to the liquid and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Take off the heat and let the peaches cool in the liquid

Walnut ricotta
5. In a food processor blend the ricotta, cream cheese and walnuts until smooth.
6. Add the black pepper and refrigerate.

7. Slice the bread into long, thin strips.
8. Brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and either toast on a barbeque or in the oven on high heat.

To assemble the canapé
9. Lay the croutes out on a platter.
10. Spoon approximately 2tsp of walnut ricotta onto the end of each croute.
11. Cut the peaches into thin wedges and lay a wedge on top of the ricotta.
12. Top the peach with a few watercress leaves.
13. Wrap the end of each croute (with the ricotta, peach and watercress) in a strip of prosciutto. I used ½ a piece of prosciutto for each one.