You guys! You guys! One week until Christmas!
Isn’t it just the best time of year? The lights, the music, the family and friends, the vacation time (yippee!), the snow (it’s a delicate relationship) and lots of food. Lots and lots of food, you guys.
Which, clearly, is okay with me. I try not to overdo it with the sweets, but I am a sucker for delicious appetizers and savory dishes. Today’s recipe – Roasted Balsamic Grapes & Creamy Lemon Ricotta Dip – is one of those appetizers that becomes a main dish because I can’t stop eating it. And here’s why:
- Light, crispy baguette slices
- Creamy, lemony ricotta and cream cheese mixture
- Roasted, bursty red grapes soaked in balsamic and olive oil
- Drizzled honey, crunchy walnuts and fresh, earthy thyme
Honestly… what’s not to love?
So if you find me hanging out by the appetizer table, not talking to anyone and just filling my face, you know why.
P.S. if you haven’t tried roasting grapes, please do. It’ll change your life!
- 2 lbs. red grapes, halved
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp. each coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 1 (8 oz.) block Neufchatel cheese (low fat cream cheese)
- 1 (8 oz.) tub ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 baguette, sliced and toasted*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, toss grapes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until grapes burst. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, ricotta and lemon zest. Spread evenly on a serving tray. Spoon roasted grape mixture over the ricotta mixture. Top with honey, walnuts and fresh thyme.
- Serve with toasted crostinis.
- To make crostinis: Thinly slice baguette using a sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Allow to cool.