Sunday, May 13, 2012

Goat Cheese with Roasted Grapes



"I'm not hungry, I'll just pick." That was my mother's mantra when I was growing up. I embrace this notion - although my "picking" can add up to a substantial meal. My beginnings for Small Bites Sunday is probably genetic.

My mother is ageless. Truly. She doesn't have an assigned age. Or - if she has one - we don't know it. Nor did we know the ages of her sisters. My cousins and I spent a lot of time around each other's kitchen table guessing at the ages of our aunts and respective mother's. What we all know today - is - it doesn't matter.



What mattered was being together around food. Small bites. Big bites. My mother had the Italian touch with pasta, salads and all meals Mediterranean. When I was young, she also started taking home these little cards from the wine store that was the start of the magazine Bon Appetit.  Thinking "this looks good," she experimented with all cuisines. In her Peking duck phase, I would come home from school to find ducks hanging in the back of my basement. I was not amused. Then.


There was the Christmas when she baked 225 cookies to serve 7....

After moving to Minnesota, she would pick up two live lobsters at LaGuardia and bring them back to St. Paul to have a Maine feast with my father. At an early age, she introduced me to lox, artichokes, fondue and halavah. She also (with barely a cent to her name), managed to take me to the old Met for special children performances in opera and to the New York Town hall for ballet created for young people. (And she wonders where my theatre gene came from!)



Thank-you Mom for my love of cheese, care with a meal and those lovely legs that I got from you! This is for you. Happy Mother's Day!



Life is good when simple grapes turn into become tender and cherry-like via the simple task of roasting them.  Robustly sweet, they make the perfect foil for the slight tang in a goat cheese.




I found this on Glow Kitchen's blog. She dressed it up more with honey and her photos really do it justice. I encourage you to view the original recipe here. This is such minimal work for grand results. My kind of cooking.

Roasted Grapes with Goat Cheese - serves 4-6 depending how hungry everyone is!
1-4 oz goat cheese log
2-3 cups red grapes
1 teaspoon sea salt
Herbs to garnish
10-14 pieces crostini or crackers

Take your goat cheese out of the fridge 60-90 minutes ahead of time to soften. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray baking pan (cookie sheet with rims works) with Pam. Once the grapes start to caramelize, they will stick. Scatter grapes on pan. Toss with a little sea salt. Bake for about 25 minutes until grapes reduce, give off some liquid and sweetly start to caramelize. Cool. Serve atop goat cheese atop crostini!

I served this at a meeting for my "Big Project." Meeting ended after 2 hours. Nobody left the dining room table until 5 hours later. I think that constitutes "a hit!"


Happy Mother's Day to all of you generous and caring caregivers out there!

43 comments:

love2dine said...

I love your blog and the way you convey such a lovely atmosphere with your great recipes, your pictures and what you write! "Happy Mother's Day"

Barbara F. said...

Claudia, I would never think to roast grapes! I adore goat cheese, so I will try this. Happy Mother's Day! xo

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Love your idea of the goat cheese and grapes. So pretty too. You've written a great tribute to your mom. She sounds wonderful, the kind of mom everyone wants to have.

Happy Mother's day to you.
Sam

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love the idea of roasted grapes, but I love the tribute to your mom even more. She sounds very special indeed. Happy Mother's Day.

Ioana-Carmen said...

U are so stylish! what do u say about following each other sweetie?:X

FashionSpot.ro

Sarah Toasty said...

Good lord roasted grapes, on the to-do list! Lovely post, lady

Ruth Martins said...

What a lovely tribute to mother's day. I so fully admire and respect your mum through your words. It's funny as I often wondered, in this day and age, how Italian women stayed so slim. Guess your mum has the answer-grazing. And the fact that, in spite of the strong tendency of Italian families to stick to the traditional, your mum was willing to experiment with 'foreign cuisines', so appeals to me.As does this recipe. Never thought of roasting grapes but this definetely works!
Happy Mother's day to you and your mum x

Lizzy said...

Oh, your mom sounds a heck of a lot like mine! We had little money, but she loved to experiment with different cuisines. No ducks in our basement, though :) She took us to plays, musicals and the symphony..inexpensive university performances. And I love that no one knows your mom's age...she's a gem! Happy Mother's Day, my friend!

PS...the crostini looks wonderful! I'm a small bites kind of gal, too.

sweetsamsations said...

awww.. That's so sweet of you! Your mum is awesome, 225 cookies for 7.. hahahaha.. Cookie monsters all around the world will rejoice!!

Heidi {Young Grasshopper} said...

great tribute post ;)

Jeannie Tay said...

A very loving tribute to your mom indeed Claudia, a very lovely lady I am sure. My mother doesn't bake anymore but she makes sure each one of us have a tin of delicious cookies which she bought to bring back with us when we visited on big festive ocassions, doesn't matter that we can make our own!
The roasted grapes on goat's cheese sounds amazing!

Lynda said...

Happy Mother's Day Claudia! What a sweet tribute to your mama.And those roasted grapes look wonderful. I had not thought of roasting grapes before. Got to try that next!

Marcellina said...

What a gorgeous tribute to your Mom! I understand the feeling about the Peking Ducks. We were never eating the same things all my friends seemed to be enjoying! Thanks for your kind comments!

bellini said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom and a tasty dish to go with it.

Mister Meatball said...

A mom who hangs ducks in the basement is all right by me.

Lucky you.

Tina Bk said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom! Obviously she has been a great influence on you and really has a passion for food.
This dish of roasted grapes and goat cheese does sound delicious. I am just imagining what those grapes would taste like roasted-yum!

Joanne said...

Aww your mom sounds so fabulous! What a sweet post. :)

These crostini sound amazing! I'm on a serious goat cheese kick lately and roasted grapes are definitely a great thing to accompany them!

purabi naha said...

Awww...your mother is so sweet and feels so good to know that you remember so much about her culinary journeys over these years! This recipe looks great and something I'm going to try for sure!

Proud Italian Cook said...

225 cookies for seven, I love this women! Beautiful tribute, and I must roast some grapes!

cakeanchovies said...

we didn't have ducks hanging in the basement but we did have dried cod soaking in the garage for baccala

i have a neighbor who unloads grapes on us so this makes the grade

i don't think the younguns are going to like the goat cheese so i'm going to try it with cream cheese

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

What a lovely dish & what a lovely mother you have got! She looks fabulous!

I also love red grapes! Yum Yum Yum!

Juliana said...

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day :)
I never had roasted grapes...but can imagine how delicious it is, especially with cheese...so simple, yet tasty and elegant. Thanks for sharing this recipe Claudia and hope you have a great week ahead!

CJ - Food Stories said...

This is a beautiful recipe & I loved the heartfelt stories of your mother :-)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Really nice post - nice tribute. And nice memories. And I really like the recipe - roasting fruit is such a nice and unusual way to enjoy it. I'll bet it taste wonderful combined with goat cheese (a personal favorite of mine). Thanks for this.

Chiara Giglio said...

I would never think to roast grapes but now can't wait to try!have a good week Claudia...

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I've always been meaning to make roasted grapes. They look so lovely and tasty with the goat cheese here.

Fresh Local and Best said...

How is it that I have never heard of roasting grapes? This is perfect for a novel appetizer to serve house guests.

FOODESSA said...

In general, we can all agree that Moms are precious...and yours can lead the pack. What a great example for you to grow up next to.

Roasted grapes are also special, especially if mixed in with sausages or chicken preparations.
I'll be trying out the goat cheese combo for sure...great idea Claudia ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Mary said...

What a lovely post, Claudia. I would love to meet your mother. She sounds like quite a woman. I hope you both had a great Mother's Day. Blessings...Mary

Kathy said...

Claudia, Such a lovely tribute to your mom! I so enjoyed reading it! You’re so lucky to have such a great lady in your life…I was also blessed with a great mom and I miss her so much!
Your roasted grapes and goat cheese sound delicious! It sounds like a hit to me!

Erica said...

What a beautiful post,Claudia! Love the dish and love reading about your mom!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love goat cheese and grapes but never thought of pairing them together. What a lovely recipe, and an even lovelier tribute to your mom! Hope she had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Your mom must be so happy and she must be very proud of you. Sounds like she's an amazing lady! Roasted grape sounds very interesting although I've never had it. Eating with goat cheese is something I have to do when I roast the grapes!

Susan said...

Ciao, Claudia! I’d like to present you with the “Versatile Blogger Award!” Please stop by my blog to “pick it up!” http://www.createamazingmeals.com/2012/05/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-with.html

easyfoodsmith said...

That was a lovely post. Your Mum seems to be a bundle of energy and a creative person. Your dish looks light, healthy and very delicious.

scrambled megs said...

i smashed some goat's cheese with prunes once. absolutely amazing. grapes would be a whole diff thing altogether. mmmm!

Island Vittles said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom! And grapes roasted to bring out even more sweetness...that sounds amazing! Theresa

Reeni said...

I never had a roasted grape before! Hearing you describe them as cherry-like has me enticed. They sound perfect with the goat cheese.

Velva said...

This is beautiful. Cheers to your mom! And Happy Mother's Day to you Claudia.

Velva

Angie's Recipes said...

You have me at roasted grapes, Claudia. Must be wonderful served with goat cheese.
A lovely tribute to your mom.

Beth said...

Love the photos and the stories. 225 cookies to serve seven? That's great!

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

I needed this recipe (some day I'll tell you why!)
Thanks!

OysterCulture said...

What a wonderful tribute to a special woman.

This recipe sounds just about perfect. I am still trying to comprehend the cookie math, but liking it nonetheless.