The counterpoint of sweet Port-infused roasted grapes and tangy cheese make these nibbles a delectable treat. They can be served as appetizers or as an after-dinner cheese course.
A blue cheese spread is smeared atop small portions of toasted bread and then topped with a generous scoop of the roasted orbs. The sharp, salty taste of the blue cheese is cut by adding a little mascarpone cheese, but if you prefer, substitute cream cheese.
Port-Roasted Grapes on Blue Cheese Toasts
Yield: 4 servings, recipe can be doubled
1 cup seedless red grapes
2 tablespoons Port
1 teaspoon sugar
3 ounces Gorgonzola
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
Toast: 12 thin slices of French baguette or halved (or quartered) walnut bread or rustic whole-wheat bread, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small pan, mix together grapes, port and sugar. “Roast,” shaking the pan occasionally, until grapes begin to soften, and skin starts to shrivel, but grapes are still holding their shape, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.
2. In small bowl, mix together blue cheese and mascarpone.
3. Spread about 2 teaspoons cheese mixture on toasted bread. Top with grapes, adding a little of the syrup.
Source: adapted from “The All-American Cheese and Wine Book” by Laura Werlin (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, out of print)