Appetizer, Fall, Spring

GRAPE SALSA ON GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI

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My sister is not the easiest person to feed. She has all sorts of food aversions so I’ve learned not to get offended when she doesn’t clear her plate. She loves to shop, I hate it. She’s a free spirit, I’m somewhat of a planner. She likes to stay up late, I'm early to rise... you get the idea. At some point, after playing in the clothing racks at Target and bathing together, we stumbled into completly different interests. We’re the kind of friends that probably wouldn’t have chosen the other out of a group, yet I consider my relationship with her indispensable. We all need broader perspective, and it’s the people who are least like you, who make you see things through new eyes. She is going to be a famous clothing designer, and spends long nights in front of a humming sewing machine, cutting, threading and studding pieces I am consistently impressed with.

If there is anything I have learned about working, it is that you need good snacks. Can I put that on a resume? Sitting down and using no other muscles besides your brain and hands can get awfully exhausting. So this is what I made for Cydney, a snack that is difficult not to like. I hope this was a nice respite from your frozen taquitos, sister. I love you.

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RED GRAPE SALSA CROSTINI // Makes One Quart Salsa and About 20 Crostini

This makes a great holiday appetizer and can be made a day in advance. It keeps well, the onion just becomes stronger. Also goes well on some fresh fish or with some simple quesadillas, so you shouldn’t have an issue with leftovers.

1 1/2 lb. Seedless Red or Blue/Black Grapes*

1 Anaheim Chile

1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped

Half a Small Red Onion, Finely Chopped (more or less to taste)

Salt and Pepper

1 Whole Grain Baguette

8 oz. Chevre, room temperature

2 tbsp. Milk

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Oven to 375’

1. Cut the anaheim chile into fourths and remove the seeds, dice as small as possible. Dice the red onion as tiny as possible, and throw those into the bowl as well. Use your discretion with how much onion you like. Dice the grapes, best to halve length and width wise, then chop. Add the vinegar and ½ cup of cilantro and toss. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to your taste.

2. Slice the baguette, on a bias into ¼’’ slices and arrange on a baking tray. You will need to do this in two shifts. Bake on the upper rack for about 4 minutes, take them out and flip them over, bake for another 4 minutes and let them cool. Repeat with the other half.

3. Put the goat cheese in a small bowl, add the milk and mix it around to make it spreadable. Swipe one side of the baguette with about 1 tbsp. chevre. Place a heaping spoonful of the grape salsa on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

* By using the most fresh, firm grapes you can find, you will make the chopping easier on yourself. Not to mention the texture benefit. I think using two tones of grapes, makes a beautiful final product.

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