One of my favorite entertaining recipes is the tried and true Charcuterie Board. It can be adapted to any season with additional items being added to highlight the time of year you are entertaining in. In the Spring and Summer along with the traditional meats and cheeses, I like to add fruits that are in season like berries and melons or farm fresh jams and jellies that ring with the tastes of freshness. I always incorporate fresh vegetables as well and mix it up, almost like a combined crudite – charcuterie board. For the Winter I like to go a little heartier with chutneys instead of the fresh jams, a pomegranate salsa that I love (whose recipe I will share in a winter blog), hearty breads, and maybe even a fondue added to the mix or smoked salmon. For the season that we are presently in, I wanted to add some new elements and I found those in the recipes that I am sharing below.
My inspiration for one of these recipes that I found was a post that I made on Facebook a few weeks ago. I had posted the above photo of our Concord grape vines laden with grapes and had asked if anyone had a new recipe to share or way to use this abundant crop of grapes besides turning them into the typical jelly or jam… I leave that task to my mom. The post was met with a couple of very funny comments about referring to the fact that I had missed the obvious…wine. One commenter posted a recipe that looked like it was both fairly easy and delicious so I tried it… and I highly recommend it! Lori, what a great combination of flavors in this one…thanks for sharing!
Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini
- 4 cups red grapes
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
- 24 slices baguette , lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (Pistachios can be used as replacement)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and coat glass baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Stir grapes, oil, salt, thyme, and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread out in one layer in the baking dish. Roast, stirring occasionally until wrinkled and caramelized, 48 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the grapes, and stir to coat. Set aside.
- Spread goat cheese on the baguette, dividing equally. Top with the grape mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with honey.
The second recipe that I added to my traditional Fall charcuterie board was one from the Beekman Boys which was printed in the Beekman 1802 Almanac which I just began subscribing to. I had read their book when it was first published and have followed their farm and business almost since its inception. Talk about inspiration!
Baked Savory Figs with Goat Cheese
- 2 ounces goat cheese, cut into 8 portions
- 8 fresh figs
- 8 walnut halves roughly chopped
- sea salt flakes
- Pomegranate syrup for drizzling (If you cannot find, use a balsamic vinegar glaze. Trader Joe’s has had the pomegranate syrup in the past.)
- Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the figs on it, sitting upright.
- Cut a cross into the top of each fig and fill with the cheese and walnuts. Add a sprinkling of salt and a drizzle of the syrup. Bake for 10 mins.
- Serve warm, or transfer to an airtight container and serve at room temp.
Tito’s Grape Smash
- 1 shot glass of Tito’s vodka
- 1 shot glass of simple syrup ( simple syrup is 1 cup of water boiled with 1/2 cup of sugar- you won’t need all of it for this recipe so you can put the extra in a Ball jar in your fridge and you can keep it for about a month for your next batch) You can adjust this according to how sweet you like your drink.
- 1 cup of grapes
- juice of 1 small lime
- Club soda to taste
- Crushed ice
1.Take one cup of grapes, put in blender and blend until mashed. Add the mashed grapes to the bottom of a tall glass.
2. Fill glass with ice.
Whatever way you shake it up, keep in mind that it’s the people gathering around that charcuterie board who make the party. Enjoy it! Add a couple of special touches and you’ll have a fun and memorable get together with people who just might ask for one of those recipes themselves.