Culinary Expert, Writer & Consultant
I write about food history and stories most often around ingredients, cuisines, and the people who cook them. I also own and run A Perfect Bite Consulting and @APBCookStudio through which I curate culinary experience and help F&B brands and businesses connect with their consumers.
Garlic Chilli Roasted Grapes for the Nonchalant Gourmand
Soon after I began #365PerfectFoodles, I realised I needed a name for it and asked the Twitterverse for help, promising a dedicated illustration to the winners. Two peoples suggestions finally came together in this name. One of them was my friend Nikhil who also has a very attractive blog - Nonchalant Gourmand. He requested a recipe with garlic in shades of Purple since that is the color of his blog. It took me a while to actually come up with a recipe but here it is
I have been wanting to do a caramelised fruit recipe as well as cook
with grapes so this recipe does both. Grapes are in season just now and chilled make the ideal summer fruit/snack. But what I have found over time is that all fruit get even more delicious when subjected to a little heat that caramelises the sugar they contain. This
recipe also has two favourite ingredients, garlic on request by Nikhil,
which is important for adding caramelly, savoury notes and chillies for a
little heat that will help the roasted grapes hold their own with the
cheese later. But most impotantly in this platter is an ingredient that is very local. In arranging the platter I have scattered little sprigs of baby Methi all over it. Baby Methi to translate it to world gourmet terms would be Fenugreek Mesclun and has been a regular on the menus of Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisines for eons. In this platter it makes an important additions, its slightly sweet-bitter crunchiness offering a contrast in texture and flavour to the soft sweet grapes and savoury cheese. In retrospect a few toasted walnut flakes could also be scattered over....
Here is the written Recipe
3 cups/250 gms large red seedless grapes, a few halved, rest kept whole
1/3 cup / 40 cloved Garlic, chopped fine
4-5 / 15 gms Red Chillies, chopped fine
1/3 cup / 80 ml Robust Red Wine
Sea Salt to taste (optional)
A selection of Sharp goats milk or smelly-spicy cheeses (Camembert, Roquefort, Brie, Feta, Gorgonzola to name a few)
1 bunch Baby Methi (Fenugreek Mesclun), cleaned and trimmed
Toasted walnuts (optional)
Sea salt (adjust quantities if used in roasting also)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. In a large mixing bowl, combine the grapes, garlic, chillies wine, sea salt if using and mix well. Transfer to a baking tray and place in preheated oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes till skin of grapes gets slightly wrinkly and garlic is well browned. Whille grapes are roastin arrange your cheeses on a platter. Scatter the grapes around the cheeses with drizzles of pan juices. Arrange sprigs of the baby methi all over. Scatter walnuts and sea salt if using. Serve with the red wine you used to cook! Bon Apetit!
For those of you who want a look at the real thing, here is a picture. This pan full was wiped out by the husband.