Recipes: Prociutto, Fig, and Mint Crostini (Jamie Oliver)

This is a Jamie Oliver dish I mildly modified. It's super easy to make, and you can even use pre-made crostini if you're in a hurry. This is sure to be a crowd favorite at your next party, as the flavors are not common but go so well together.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


1 baguette (pre-made crostini can be substituted)
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic whole
mission figs (1/2 per crostini)
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
4 oz prociutto di parma
reduced balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar

The process is simple. Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating up, slice the baguette into half inch thick slices and line them in a baking sheet. Brush them generously with olive oil.

When the oven is ready, put them in and toast to a golden brown. My oven got them there in 10 minutes. Check often, making sure not to burn your bread.

In the mean time, get all the other ingredients out and slice the figs lengthwise in half, rinse off and dry the mint, and peel the cloves of garlic.

When the crostini come out of the oven let them cool until you can handle them. Rub some garlic on each of the now crunchy bread. This in Italy is known as bruschetta.

Now that each of the crostini are rubbed down with some garlic, top each of them with a piece of prociutto. You want enough on there that you're going to taste the saltiness and meatiness of the prociutto.

Now top it with a few piece of fresh mint . . .

. . .take a half of a fig and place IT on top, making it all nice and pretty. You get extra points for good placement.

Finally, top it with some reduced balsamic vinegar. If you don't have reduced balsamic, regular balsamic will work.

Reducing balsamic vinegar is easy but takes some attention. Pour balsamic vinegar in a pan on medium high. I used a bottle and had plenty left over. Turn the heat to medium high and bring it up to a simmer and start whisking. Once the balsamic has reduced to 1/5th it's original volume or can coat the back of a spoon it's done. 4-5 minutes is all it takes.

This part is the easy part. Try one make sure it's good enough for friends, try another make sure it's good enough for family, and then try one more to make sure there is quality control.

Thanks Jamie Oliver!
-Joe Kwon

Santé Charcuterie & Restaurant - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Charcuterie Tasting
Sometime, in my travels, I stumble across some amazing jewels. Santé Charcuterie & Restaurant is one such place. I woke up a bit too late to get a sit down breakfast so I set out from the hotel (without my camera of course!) to find something that would be quick and delicious, knowing that I may strike out miserably. In fact I hit a home run!

Santé is the brain child of Jeremy Hansen who had the idea of opening a restaurant that would bring the food from farm to the table. He believes and loves food and wants to ". . .help people be mindful of their food." It's evident at first taste, how much care Jeremy puts into his food. And for that I thank you!

The above is a little sample plate the nice Amanda set up for me while I was marveling at the beautiful pastries and deserts. I decided to start off with the sopprasetta it had a nice clove flavor to it that went along so well with the mustards.

Amanda told me to hold off on the duck prociutto because of it's potent flavor, so taking her recommendation I tried the next logical step with the salami. It was hard, salty, and had a nice olive flavor and a nice kick in the back of the throat. This would be perfect with some red pepper aioli on a baguette or just with some nice gruyere cheese.

The chicken terrine and the mortadella are similar in their nice mild flavor, however, the terrine had a very nice herb flavor to it that was very memorable. The mortadella had a nice fat flavor. What you want in a slice of prepared meat!

It was finally time to try the duck prociutto and I was so glad I had saved the best for last. The prociutto was so moist and soft it melted in your mouth but still had the texture that you come to know in prociutto. The five spice flavor was prominent but not overwhelming. I fell in love again.

Assorted Mustards
Santé makes their own mustards and aioli's. The base mustard has a nice back of the nose bite to it and is a bit runnier than most mustards but is still beautiful. The red pepper aioli has some of the sweetness from the red peppers which adds a great deal of difference from the flavor of the regular mustard aioli. Each is great just on a piece of bread or with some of the meats above.

Guanciale Omlette w/ Black Trumpets
Guanciale is an un-smoked Italian bacon made from the jowl of the pig. It's delicious and light in flavor compared to bacon but still has nice fat. To put it in an omelette with risolé potatoes, manchego cheese, and top it with black trumpet mushrooms, is like eating the most decadent omelette you've ever tried. The mushrooms add a nice texture to the omelette while the manchego's richness is balanced by the potatoes.

Unfortunately, this was my least favorite of my pastries. It's very difficult to find the perfect mixture of chewiness and crisp in a macaron. This macaron was just too hard and had no chew. I'm sure there is good reason for this. So I can't discount Santé on this one yet. I'll have to go back the next time I'm in Spokane.

Rosewater Marshmallow
Homemade marshmallows are all the rage right now. I am starting to see them pop up all over the place, from blogs to restaurants. So there must be something special about them right? Well the beautiful thing about them is that they are a nice fluffy medium for delivering delicate flavors. Rosewater, to some, is a bit too floral when it's in a desert as just rose water. Put it in a marshmallow, and you've got a nice delicate flavor that is mellowed by the marshmallow. It's great, very unoffensive, and delicate.

Paté du Fruits
I had to get more than one just to make sure I had more left over and had full intention of sharing them with the band. But then I ate one, and I couldn't let them go. Each is a like a little scoop of preserve that is packed full of fruit flavor. And the beautiful thing is, they are made from real fruit. Now only if we could get these in the place of Fruit Roll-Ups in kids lunch boxes!

I can't remember the last time I was so thrilled about a restaurant. And, to just stumble upon one in a desparate attempt to find breakfast, only made me love this place more. Happy eating!

Oh yeah don't forget to check out the nice bookstore next door!

--Joe Kwon

Navigate to Santé's website.

Executive Chef Jeremy Hansen
Pastry Chef Lynette Pfleuger