The change is in the air, we can feel it. Even with our recent heat wave and surprise dumps of much needed rain showers, the anticipation of Fall is approaching. The garden is slowly starting it’s transition to Fall. This is one of our most favorite times of the year and with that, comes a new smells in the kitchen that focus on Autumn comforts and Fall favorites.
This seasonal transition is much needed because Summer was a fulfilling in so many ways. Work travel, fishing vacations and great shoots on some fantastic new projects have us satisfied with what Summer had to bring. Now we’re ready for some cooler weather, crisp mornings and the chill of sunset. While we wait for the weather to make the change, we’re eating Fall like there’s no tomorrow.
What makes us immediately feel the switch of seasons is when we look at our Zinfandel grape vines. They’re gorgeous with big leaves that show their kaleidoscope of Fall hues: reds, yellows, oranges and faded greens. Grapes are superb this time of year: sweet, crisp and abundant at the markets. There’s so many grape varieties to choose from that’s it’s so exciting to pop one in our mouths and taste test everything we see. Aromatic Muscat grapes are a favorite, along with deep, rich purple Concords. Can you tell? Grapes make us happy.
These grape, brie and arugula bruschetta are the perfect transition appetizer where guests can assemble it all on their own. Add a glass of wine or two and it can be a wonderful light dinner. Because each bite has the pop of fresh grapes, the contrast of peppery arugula and the creamy texture of brie cheese this dish is definitely one of our favorites. And beyond all the awesome flavor profiles, this recipe is super simple. So easy that it’s almost like cheating.
All it takes are a few plates with each of the prepped ingredients, some wonderful crusty bread, a bottle of wine, some great family/friends to share it all with and everyone is merry and satisfied. Really, it doesn’t get any better than this dish and best of all, it leaves you with plenty of time to catch up with what everyone did for their Summer and chat up on what everyones looking forward to for Fall.
We’re totally ready for this amazing season. Bring it on.
diane and todd
Grape Arugula and Brie Bruschetta
Yield: Serves 4-6
Total Time: 30 minutes
This is a great party starter that allows everyone to be hans-on to make their own bruschetta. Arrange the ingredients on a few platters and leave it to the guests to add their own cheese, arugula and grapes. The fresh seedless grapes are the heroes in every bite, especially when paired with the brie.
- About 1 1/2 pounds (680g) wedge of brie, room temperature
- 1 baguette, sliced
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Dijon Mustard
- 1 cup (240ml) fresh arugula
- 1/4 pound (113g) fresh grapes, halved
- About 30 minutes prior to serving, cut the brie into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside and allow the cheese to come to room temperature for best flavor and texture.
- Brush the baguette slices with oil and lightly toast - either on a sheet pan in a 350 degree F oven or in a sauté pan on the stovetop.
- On a large platter, arrange the baguette slices and spread them with Dijon mustard. Then top each with a slice of brie, some arugula and a few grape halves. Or for a DIY party appetizer, arrange each ingredient on a separate platter, with the mustard on the side, and allow guests to assemble their own bruschetta.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.