(Mass Appeal) – Whether Patrick and Kayla want to believe it, the first day of fall is Saturday. You can already start to feel it in the air… so in honor of the new season let’s make an appetizer best served with cider or with a glass of wine! Betty Rosbottom, cookbook author and chef, joins us in the kitchen to share her recipe for Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese toast.
Toasted baguette slices are spread with creamy chèvre and then topped with roasted red grapes scented with balsamic vinegar and rosemary. A sprinkle of chopped walnuts adds a nice finishing touch. These appetizers are uncomplicated to prepare and would be delicious and served with cider or wine on a crisp autumn night.
2 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved if large
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil plus 4 tbsp or more for the toasts
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
18 baguette slices cut 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal
5 to 6 oz creamy goat cheese
2 to 2 1/2 tbsp milk
6 tbsp walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (see cooking tip)
1. Arrange a rack at the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the grapes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat well. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the grapes begin to wrinkle, are slightly browned, and some have collapsed, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove them to a bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar and the rosemary. (The grapes can be prepared 3 hours ahead; leave at room temperature.) Retain oven temperature.
3. For the toasts, arrange the bread slices on another baking sheet, and brush on both sides with remaining olive oil. Bake them until slices are crisp and golden, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and if not using immediately, leave at room temperature uncovered for up to 1 hour.
4. To assemble, whisk the goat cheese with just enough milk to give it a lighter consistency (like sour cream). Then spread each toast generously with some of the goat cheese. (You may have some left over; save extra for another use.) Top each toast with 3 or more grapes and a sprinkle of walnuts. (Save any leftover grapes for tossing into a salad or to garnish roast chicken.) Makes 18 toasts to serve 6 to 8
Cooking tip: To toast walnuts, spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven until lightly browned and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and cool.