I love the woody, savory compliment of the rosemary on this crostini; it perfectly balances out the sweetness of the grapes and smooth creamy ricotta. Rosemary is an interesting little herb; it’s evergreen (meaning it grows year-round) and is actually a member of the mint family. Apparently the name comes from the old Latin for “dew of the sea”, and on top of tasting great also stimulates the immune and circulatory systems. In the Middle Ages it symbolized weddings, and was used as a love charm! So share these crostini with someone YOU love at your next event!

CROSTINI APPETIZER WITH ROASTED GRAPES – serves 4

1 lb. seedless mixed red and black grapes, stems discarded
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, regular or aged
2 rosemary sprigs, plus chopped fresh rosemary for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky French sea salt
Pepper
3 Tbs. pine nuts
Twelve 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Honey
Finely grated lemon zest, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, toss the grapes with the vinegar, rosemary sprigs and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grapes are softened.

Meanwhile, spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden. Brush the baguette slices with the remaining 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden and crisp.

To assemble the crostini, place the toasts on a serving platter and spread some of the ricotta onto each toast. Spoon the warm grapes with their juices on top and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Top with a drizzle of honey and some lemon zest. Sprinkle the crostini with salt and garnish with chopped rosemary. Serve with LOVE. Enjoy!

 

rosemary

About The Author

Mary Frances

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient www.lovethesecretingredient.net came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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