02 May 2011

Roasting grapes...

Years ago I read an old Italian recipe about roasting grapes.  I thought it an odd thing, as I don't think about baking or cooking with grapes all that much.  Over the years, I have developed the most fantastic recipe for roasting grapes.  It's a recipe that combines the quintessential sweet/savory combination and is so easy to prepare.  It's also a recipe that looks so fabulous and elegant, is easy to eat and can be prepared in advance and assembled quickly.  It's also a great way to use up less-than-perfect fruit. 

Mascarpone cheese is a triple creme cheese from Italy or the US and it comes in a tub.  It's delicate and barely sweet, spreadable and whip-able.  It has a generous shelf life and works well as a frosting, thickener for sauces and smeared on most breads.


1 baguette, sliced in 3/4 inches on a bias
1 8 ounce carton Mascarpone
1 pound seedless grapes, red or black look the best
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
3-4 Tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a lined baking sheet, lay out grapes that have been cut into 3 grape bundles, leaving stems still attached in a single layer.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast about 15 minutes until grapes are wrinkly, but not fully collasped.
Place baguette slices on a lined baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes until slightly golden brown.  Let cool and spread each slice with Mascarpone cheese, about 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle with a bit of raw sugar and top with  a roasted grape cluster.
Serve immediately.

Grapes can be roasted in advance (even a day ahead of time) and kept refrigerated until ready to use.

Roasted grapes are also fantastic in green salads or fruit salads or to top a simple pound/loaf cake with a bit of whipped cream.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!  Someday I will live in Italy with a tiny vineyard and eat roasted grapes all through the harvest season....dreams are nice aren't they? 

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