cypress grove cheese & one great panini May 9, 2011

I’ve never met a cheese I don’t like – this much is certainly true…and Cypress Grove makes some of the best cheese I’ve ever had. Their Truffle Tremor is incredible – that funky, earthiness is something else. Lamb Chopper is a wonderful firmer cheese. All of their fresh chevre is top notch. So when I was asked to help develop a recipe using a cheese from the Cypress Grove portfolio, I was totally thrilled – a great excuse to experiment with a really amazing product.

Despite being a bit shell-shocked from a particularly wacky sandwich photo shoot, I must have had paninis on the brain because as soon as I saw a giant wedge of Humboldt Fog, I had visions of gooey, goat cheesy goodness between slices of bread. Trying to think of a foil for the pungent but soft cheese, my mind went immediately to roasted fruit. Grapes have the same sweet/tart quality as preserves or compote in sandwiches but with a bit more wow factor. Some quick roasted grapes – right off the vine – smooshed into a panini with slabs of Humboldt Fog were amazing – trust me. You could do this with roasted cherries or some quick stewed berries but saying “roasted grapes” garnered some audible gasps when I mentioned it amongst friends. If you didn’t want to make such a big deal as getting out a panini press or your cast iron skillet, you could also do this in crostini form. Just toast the bread, slather on some Humboldt Fog  and perch a tiny bunch of the roasted grapes on top. It would make for a killer presentation, as well.

Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese & Roasted Grape Panini - makes 4 sandwiches

  • 2 tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil – divided into two 1 tbsp. portions
  • 1 pound seedless red grapes – washed and dried
  • 8 pieces sourdough, multi-grain or whole wheat bread
  • 8 ounces of Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog goat cheese – 2 ounces per sandwich

- Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a shallow roasted pan or baking sheet, place the grapes – still on the vine – and drizzle with a tbsp. of olive oil. Roast until the skins of the grapes start to pucker – 20 minutes or so depending on your oven. Once you see signs of roasting, remove and allow to cool slightly so they can be handled.

- While the grapes are cooling, preheat your panini press or a cast iron skillet ( you don’t need grill marks to make this delicious). Brush your bread slices on the outer sides with a bit of olive oil – you can divide a tbsp. between the bread. Place 2 ounces of goat cheese on each of 4 slices of bread. Put a handful of grapes – 1o or 12 per sandwich (you may have some roasted grapes leftover) – on top of the goat cheese. Put the lid on the bread and place in your panini press for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and you see gooey cheese on the side. If you’re using the skillet method, grill on each side for 2-3 minutes until brown and crispy – you can put something on top of this as a makeshift panini press if you want the squished sandwich effect.

Comments

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 9, 2011 12:05 am

This sandwich is truly inspiring–I’ve never thought to roast grapes before but seeing them here with the cheese, I know I’d enjoy this panino. Will have to borrow your idea sometime. :-)

Broderick May 9, 2011 12:05 am

Want.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen May 9, 2011 02:05 am

Never roast grapes before but I see how I’m going to love it!

Winnie May 9, 2011 09:05 am

This looks so fantastic. I’ve never had roasted grapes, but would like to try them immediately!

Kathy - Panini Happy May 9, 2011 11:05 am

Wow – roasted grapes! There’s something I definitely need to try. I’m already on board with the Humboldt Fog!

Nicole Franzen May 9, 2011 09:05 pm

yum, i want

Cheese & Roasted Grape Panini May 10, 2011 09:05 am

[...] Inspiring 4 sandwiches with roast grapes and the cheese. If you’re using the skillet method, grill on each side for 2-3 minutes until brown and crispy – you can put something on top of this as a makeshift panini press if you want the squished sandwich effect. You are going to love it! Owner: runningwithtweezers | Website: link [...]

Kathryn May 10, 2011 10:05 am

I love sweet and salty combinations like this one- and I ADORE super creamy cheese! I just went over to the Cypress Grove online store and almost went crazy and bought everything, including the cheese wedding cake! :)

Sophia May 10, 2011 11:05 am

I’m the same way with cheese! I absolutely love every kind! I love the idea of pairing it with grapes in a sandwich. So yummy!!

Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane May 10, 2011 12:05 pm

Humboldt Fog is one of my all-time favorites, as is their Midnight Moon goat. I love the addition of the beautiful ruby roasted grapes. Such a stunning presentation and recipe!

shelly May 10, 2011 03:05 pm

I LOVE all of the Cypress Grove Cheeses!!

TheFromagette May 10, 2011 05:05 pm

YUM!! Uh, did I mention this looks totally yummy?

Kimberley May 11, 2011 02:05 am

I agree that Cypress Grove makes ridiculously great cheese. And I trust, implicitly, that that panini was way more than great.

Beth May 12, 2011 11:05 am

Brilliant. I’m definitely putting the roasted grape/Humboldt Fog combo in my roster of canapés to present to clients. Gorgeous shots, too. The shriveled grapes remind me of the smoked grapes they (the restaurant I used to work at) used to serve with the cheese plate.

Hmm, wonder if I could smoke grapes at home? Thanks for the inspiration!

Allison May 12, 2011 07:05 pm

Wow. This looks amazing. I love the idea of turning it into crostini for an appetizer. Definitely trying this combo!

A Teenage Gourmet May 13, 2011 07:05 am

You are a genius! I’m eating this for breakfast, and it’s making my day already.

The Teacher Cooks May 13, 2011 11:05 am

I love grapes and cheese together. These roasted grapes sound amazing!

sara Jun 21, 2011 11:06 pm

oh yes. I am currently making a little list of the fruit and cheese combos I like and this looks so good! I haven’t roasted grapes before, but this seems a good reason to start!