When you hear about grape harvest, it doesn’t only mean wine grapes for drinking, but includes the season for table grapes for consumption. Table grapes whether green, red or black are larger, plumper and are less acidic and contain less sugar than wine grapes. Most of us have enjoyed grapes cold or at room temperature straight from the vines, but roasting grapes adds another dimension to this magnificent fruit.
When I was a kid my mother used to make a chicken & grapes dish that I thought in those days was pretty gourmet. She always made it in a big casserole and baked it in the oven, which seemed easy enough. What I really remember about this meal was how hot grapes tasted so nicely with savory foods, even though I thought it was a little strange we were eating grapes that were typically in my lunch sack for dinner.
Roasting grapes, or broiling them in the oven, changes their consistency and allows them to burst when cooking. The natural juices ooze from their interior creating a sauce that can be spooned over warm brie, or other soft cheeses. I added a drizzle of honey to the warm grapes after I removed them from the oven, and a few thyme leaves for color. This appetizer was a real hit in my house, which paired nicely with a glass of white wine.
1 round Brie cheese, unwrapped
1 1/2 cups red or black grapes
1 tablespoon honey
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
pinch of salt
oil for cooking
crackers for serving
- Preheat broiler in oven. In an iron skillet or oven proof pan, add grapes, 2 teaspoons oil and salt. Swirl around in pan to coat. Place 10 inches under broiler for 5-7 minutes, until grapes burst and juices released. Remove and set aside.
- Turn oven off. Place unwrapped brie in baking dish and put in oven to warm for 8 minutes.
- Add honey to grapes, stir. Spoon grapes and juices over warm brie and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Serve immediately. Enjoy!