Recipe by Building Feasts
This plate of roasted grapes, served with a simple block of feta (or goats cheese or blue cheese), sprinkled with some sesame sumac salt if you are so inclined is an inviting yet relaxed accompaniment to a glass of something to toast the season.
A simple version of a grazing board, this colourful sweet and salty pre (or between) meal snack requires no perfectly executed layout of an extensive selection of ingredients. In fact, if you roast your grapes on your Mud Australia tray or plate, then it doubles as a serving dish requiring less washing too.
Note: These grapes should not only be reserved for this dish, use them in salads, stirred into grains or as garnish beside roast chicken or meat.
The Sesame Sumac Salt should not only be reserved for the feta here, use it on everything from salads, to sprinkling on eggs, chicken and fish, on your hummus or labeneh.
500g red grapes (approximately 1 large bunch, preferably seedless)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp red wine or sherry vinegar
a few thyme sprigs
a good pinch of flaky sea salt
100g block of feta, at room temperature (soft goats cheese or blue cheese also works well here)
Sesame Sumac Salt
3 tbsp sesame seeds
5 tbsp sumac
1 tsp Aleppo pepper (or chili flakes for even more of a kick)
2 tsp malden salt
A few rose petals (optional)
For the sesame sumac salt:
Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy bottomed frying pan, gently tossing constantly until they are golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Transfer them to a mortar and pestle and pound until coarsely ground. Transfer to a jar with the remaining ingredients and store at room temperature for unto 2 months.
Preheat your oven to 200C (400F)
Make sure your feta is out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before plating and serving.
Wash the grapes, drain them and place them on an oven proof tray or plate (I love my Mud plates for this) laying them out in one layer if possible.
Drizzle with the olive oil, red or sherry vinegar and sprinkle with salt and thyme sprigs. Give it all a good mix around so the grapes are coated in the seasonings and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes to make sure they roast evenly. This will depend a little on the size of your grapes…..
Once they are oozing some juice and a little wrinkled (they will continue to shrivel as they cool) they are basically done, but if they have a few or less minutes depending on your timing they will be just dandy.
Take them out of the oven. If you are serving them on the tray or plate, place the block of feta directly into the middle of the grapes to soak up all the delicious juices and soften a little more. If you are transferring the grapes, make sure you do not waste any of the juice and pour every last drop onto the serving dish with the feta.
Sprinkle the feta with some Sesame Sumac Salt, if you are feeling fancy.
Serve with crackers or some warm, crusty baguette for the perfect Festive cocktail snack.