Balsamic Grape Crostini


Is it crostini or bruschetta? Ever wonder what’s the difference? The terms are often used interchangeably but in short, it’s the type of bread used and the method of toasting.


Crostini (a.k.a. “little toasts”) is usually a made from a baguette which is thinly sliced, toasted and served with a topping or spread.


Bruschetta, the Italian word “bruscare” ( aka “to roast over coals”) is traditionally made by using whole, wide slices of rustic Italian or sourdough bread and grilled over hot coals to achieve a nice char. The grilled bread is rubbed with a clove of raw garlic, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt for a basic version.


Whichever terminology you use, they are both delicious appetizers!



So why did I use grapes instead of the traditional tomato crostini?


My Challenge: Create a Valentine’s Day recipe using products from Melissa’s Produce and Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Balsamic Vinegar from Garlic de la Cruz Olive Oil.


I decided to make balsamic grape crostini as I had some basil. I thought this would be a great appetizer for Valentine’s Day as it’s something different, simple to make and can be served cold or warm.


Some info on the products I used:

Candy Hearts® Grapes from Melissa’s Produce:


“One of the most uniquely delicious grapes we have ever tried, Candy Hearts® have a rich and candied sweetness. These have been called the “red Cotton Candy® Grape,” and while they are every bit as tasty as Cotton Candies, we think their flavor has even more dimension.


The fruit has supple skin that bursts with sweet juice on first bite; as the flavor develops, enjoy expressive, concentrated notes of caramel and toasted marshmallow.”


I have to agree that is this the most delicious grapes I have ever tried!


For more info: https://www.melissas.com/Candy-Hearts-Grapes-p/1762.htm



Garcia de la Cruz Olive Oil Products


Early Harvest García de la Cruz Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

"Origin: Montes de Toledo - Spain. Early Harvest Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the most prestige olive oil of García de la Cruz, being a premium quality coupage olive oil made from the first olives harvested of the year. It is harvested mid-end of October, while the olives are still green, which makes for enriched organoleptic properties. It takes a good amount of olives to make this delicious EVOO since the olives used are not ripe yet and do not have as much juice as they would a few weeks later."


García de la Cruz Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pouches Individual Dosis

"Now packaged in individual servings for the person that is "on the go". Ideal for flights, picnics, restaurants and lunch at work. This pouch fits easily into your backpack, computer bag or purse so you can eat healthily always. Combine both to produce your own dressing or dipping sauce."



I love the taste and individual servings. The beautiful packaging is perfect for foodies and cooks!


Here is a 10% off coupon to try their products or give as gifts


This coupon can only be redeemed on the Garcia de la Cruz online store: https://shop.garciadelacruzoliveoil.com/


For the balsamic grape crostini -


My original plan was to roast the grapes with the marinade for about about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. However, since the grapes were so sweet and delicious on its own, roasting was not necessary.


Here are some options:

  • Use goat or ricotta cheese with a drizzle of honey instead of mozzarella

  • If you prefer not to add garlic to the mixture, rub a whole garlic clove on the toasted bread before topping.

  • To melt cheese: broil for few minutes before topping with grapes and basil.

  • To serve warm: broil cheese and grapes for a few minutes and top with basil.

  • Drizzle more olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving.




Balsamic Grape Crostini


Ingredients

  • 2 cups of grapes, sliced in half

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • pinch of salt and pepper

  • 1 baguette, sliced

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced ( or use shredded mozzarella)

  • Basil leaves, chopped

Directions


In a bowl, toss grapes with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and set aside to marinate.


Slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices and brush tops with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes or toast bread on a frying pan or grill pan for a few minutes (just long enough to be toasted on the outside but still soft inside)


Place bread on a serving platter. Top each slice with mozzarella, grape mixture, and fresh basil.


Culinary Adventures with MJ  

Email: mj@culinaryadventureswithmj.com

714-459-2180

Orange County, Caiifornia 

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