I love the simplicity of fruit and cheese for dessert. Fresh from spending time in Italy, I have all things Italy on the brain these days, and imagined this Italian version using ricotta and mascarpone cheeses with roasted grapes. This is an easy dessert to make, and the fluff of cheese and balsamic reduction can be done ahead and refrigerated, making this is nice light dessert for your next dinner party. I recommend, however, that the grapes are roasted no more than a few hours before you consume them, and the less time the better. These are fantastic straight from the oven. —TheWimpyVegetarian
2 cups large red seedless grapes
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon honey (I used blackberry honey)
Lemony Ricotta Topping
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese, drained
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon honey
zest from ¼ lemon
balsamic vinegar reduced to a syrup
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Wash and thoroughly dry the grapes. Lay them out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the dried herbs over the grapes, drizzle the honey on top, and roll the grapes around with your palms to coat them.
Roast for 45 minutes or until noticeably softened. The honey will be starting to caramelize around the grapes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Combine the ricotta, mascarpone, honey, lemon zest, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix well until smooth. Set aside.
Pour one cup of balsamic vinegar (not your best balsamic vinegar!) in a pot and bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the vinegar is reduced by at least half and reduced to a syrupy consistency. The best way to know when enough simmering is enough – watch the bubbles. When the bubbles start to get larger, mixed with smaller bubbles, you’re done. If the balsamic vinegar reaches the point of large lazy bubbles, you have gone a little too far.
Spoon the grapes onto a plate, placing a dollop of lemony ricotta on top. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic.