An Amazing Fall Appetizer
I'm sure you've all heard of Ottolenghi. His recipes certainly aren't secrets but they are unique and delicious. I stumbled across this one recently and modified it a bit to be less fussy. It was swoon-worthy so I just had to make sure that you all knew about it!
It utilizes grapes which are a wonderful fall fruit, actually a berry. My farmers market is bursting with several different varieties. Grapes have been cultivated for about 8,000 years and are one of the most, if not the most, agricultural products the planet has ever produced. Why? Because they make wine of course!! People have been turning grapes into wine since grapes were discovered. Wine is studied a lot because everyone loves it and hopes it's not going to be added to the list of wonderful things that are going to kill us. Because grapes are in wine, grapes are studies a lot too and researchers have found that they are literally little power-packs of anti-oxidants. This promotes a healthy heart and immune system, while the phytonutrients are now believed to play a role in longevity and anti-aging. One note: it is really important to buy organically grown grapes. Grapes are always near the top of the list of pesticide residue. But, assuming you can find organic grapes, the takeaway here is that eating grapes is very good for you!
It also calls for burrata, which, unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of. Sometimes, I think you can substitute mozzarella for burrata but in this case, I wouldn't recommend it. Burrata comes from Puglia in Italy which is next on my Ramblin list. If you've been and have suggestions, please comment!
So, this recipe. Man, it's good. It would be a great light-lunch or a nice fall appetizer. It has a nice spice flavor from the fennel seeds.
Serves 4 - 6 as appetizer
4 cups organic, seedless, red grapes
1 T sherry vinegar
2 T amazing quality olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 t fennel seeds, lightly toasted
1 t brown sugar
1 ball burrata
pinch of chopped basil
Mash the fennel seeds and garlic together so that both are lightly crushed. Add to bowl with the rest of ingredients (except burrata and basil) and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the grapes and let marinade at least 30 mins.
Heat a grill pan on H heat. Ventilate your kitchen! Fish the grapes out of the marinade and add the grapes and let grill in pan 2 - 3 minutes, stirring around a bit.
Remove from heat. Mound burrata in center of plate and place grapes around. Top with the remaining marinade and the basil and serve.