Party Down - Easy H'ors D'oeuvres and a Weekend in San Diego

Princeton, New York, Houston, Austin, Napa, San Francisco, and Rome, but there is nothing like a laid-back weekend at my sister's house in Del Mar. It's my version of a perfect weekend getaway - mornings reading to my nephews and sipping coffee, and evenings playing bocce ball and cooking and visiting with family. 

I thought this would be a fun time to try some new recipes (and utilize her beautiful kitchen). 

HAM AND PEAR CROSTINI

Makes 2 dozen

Though these small bites are perfectly tasty made with an ordinary French baguette, choose a whole wheat or seeded one for a bit more flavor.

½ baguette (or 1 demi-baguette), cut into 24 slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ripe but firm pears, halved, cored and cut into 24 wedges
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
¾ pound leftover spiral-sliced ham (or another flavorful ham), cut into bite-sized pieces and warmed (we used prosciutto)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush baguette slices all over with oil and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, flipping halfway through, until just crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Toss pears in half the dressing and arrange in a single layer on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast, flipping pears halfway through, until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Toss parsley with remaining dressing. Top each crostini with a piece of ham and then a wedge of pear and few leaves of parsley.

* we added some honey drizzled on top to add a little more sweetness to balance the salt in the prosciutto 

More recipes can be found on West Elm's Blog Front + Main. If you try out a recipe, every new food photo shared on Instagram with #westelmxwfm, West Elm & Whole Foods Market will donate $1 to the Whole Planet Foundation, helping to alleviate poverty worldwide

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