Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

 

Tribute recipe to my late friend, Chef Christo Gonzales – A colorful small plate bouquet of texture, flavor compliment & contrast. Rustic, yet sophisticated. Lite, crisp & creamy, sweet & salty, tart & tangy.

Artisan whole-grain baguettes sliced, then brushed with a garlic-infused olive oil & baked to golden perfection. Layered with smooth whipped honey-ricotta, then topped with a spoonful of sweet brandy-roasted red grapes & shallots. Garnished with seasoned & blackened walnuts, shaved Parmesan, fresh thyme leaves & ground rosemary dust. Then drizzled with a homemade balsamic reduction & served chilled.

This one is for you, Broski.

 

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

 

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape & Whipped Honey Ricotta Crostinis

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 18 -24 Baguettes
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill

Ingredients

  • Brandy-Roasted Grapes:
  • 24 oz red grapes seedless
  • 2-3 shallots finely sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil & Sea salt Crostinis:
  • 1 baguette sliced approximately 1" thick
  • Garlic-infused olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground peppercorn
  • Whipped Honey-Ricotta:
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup wildflower honey
  • Seasoned & Blackened Walnuts:
  • 1 cup black walnuts roughly chopped and dry roasted
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • Garnish:
  • 2-3 tablespoons thyme leaves chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves finely ground in pestle and mortar
  • Parmesan cheese shaved
  • Balsamic reduction pre-made or click HERE for a phenomenal recipe

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400○F.
  • In a heavy bottom pan over low-medium heat, bring grapes, shallots, garlic juice, brandy, cinnamon & cayenne to a gentle simmer. Cover & cook at low heat until nearly all liquid absorbed. Express caution in maintaining temperature, as to not allow grapes to burst. Set aside in refrigerator for 1 hour & cool completely.
  • Slice baguette in 1" increments, brush with oil & lay flat in single layer over baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through. Remove when golden brown. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in mixing bowl toss walnuts with butter & sugar, season to taste with salt & pepper, then spread in a single layer over a light-colored lined baking sheet. Roast for 8-12 minutes, shaking pan 1/2 way through to turn nuts. Remove from oven when browned & fragrant. Spread over a cooling rack. Set aside.
  • While walnuts roasting, whip ricotta, cream cheese & honey in a food processor until creamy and smooth in texture. Set aside.
  • To plate, spread a layer of whipped ricotta over the toasted baguettes. Top with a spoonful of roasted grapes. Sprinkle blackened walnuts & Parmesan shavings. Dust with thyme & rosemary powder. Finally, drizzle with a dash of balsamic reduction. Season to taste, as appropriate & serve.

 

 

 

Chef Christo Gonzales – An amazing father and husband, incredibly talented chef, inspirational poet, a lovable & sharp-witted jokester, the selfie-taking extraordinaire of selfie-taking extraordinaires, & most compassionate of human beings.  My prayers pour over his son, wife, family & those who’s lives he unforgettably touched.  I’m surely thankful for our time together over the last 3 years & unique friendship we formed – I will miss our weekly late night laughs and wee-morning chats.  May you rest in peace with the good Lord above.  Until we meet again. -David

Written by Live Fire Republic
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation Chef, television personality and international social media influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, global adventurer-extraordinaire, and the creator behind, "Live Fire Republic." David has an organic and attentive audience of more than two million households weekly via countless television and event appearances, his blog, and various print, radio and social media channels. Meanwhile his recipes and creative content continue to be shared across the web and in print publications from sea to shining sea. For all media inquiries, please email PR agency, The Lisa Ekus Group; Boston, MA - Jaimee Constantine, 413.247.9325 or jaimee@lisaekus.com.