Have you ever thought of roasting red seedless grapes? When you roast any fruit or vegetable it takes on a completely different flavor that the raw product. The sugars begin to caramelize and the flavor intensity increases. These grapes are no exception. And roasting them in a good ruby port is all the better!
I use roasted fruit in a lot of different recipes. For instance, these grapes could be used in a grilled Panini sandwich with Turkey, Port Salute Cheese and caramelized onions! In the case of a sandwich or when making crostini’s for an appetizer, it is all about using the highest quality, fresh-baked bread you can find. I am talking about something that has some texture, is cut for you on-the-spot, and is full of flavor.
Port Roasted Grapes & Port Salute Cheese Crostini's
2 cups seedless red grapes, washed
4 tbsp port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
6 oz Port Salute cheese, cut in 1 inch squares
24 quarter-inch thick slices of a good quality, fresh baked and toasted bread, or artisan crackers
1 bunch of chives, washed, dried off and diced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small pan mix together the grapes, port, rosemary twig or thyme leaves and sugar. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally until the grapes begin to soften and the skins begin to shrivel. This will take about 20-30 minutes. You want the grapes to still hold their shape. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Cut the bread in 1/4 inch slices then into bite sized pieces. Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides of bread and toast in 350 degree oven just until lightly brown. Flip bread over and toast on other side until lightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
To assemble put a slice of Port Salute on the toasted bread and top with the roasted grapes. Sprinkle a little of the diced chives over the top as a garnish.
I used the Port Roasted Grapes in this recipe as an appetizer and put them on a really nice artisan cracker with some Port Salute Cheese. If you can’t find this cheese a good Fontina or Muenster would be delicious as well.
Some other creative uses for these grapes would be on your yogurt or granola for breakfast, on top of waffles, in a salad, or as a side to any grilled or roasted meat dishes.