Sautéed Chard with Goat Cheese, Macadamia Grapes

    This was so yummy and simple. Sautéed Swiss Chard with Goat Cheese Wrapped Grapes Rolled in Toasted Macadamia Nuts and Drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction…. so freakin’ yummy. I served 4 easy and quick courses. The first was a basic Caprese Salad – quick recipe:

    Basic Caprese Salad:

    1. 2 Organic Farmer’s Market Heirloom Tomatoes
    2. Imported Buffalo Mozzarella (from Italy, of course),
    3. Fresh Organic Basil (I picked from my potted garden)

     I served with the Balsamic Reduction and added a few of the toasted macadamia nuts (I had extra) from the main recipe featured, not essential but make it all the more tasty.

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    Balsamic Reduction:

    So I started with the balsamic reduction – while it takes a little time, it’s easy and doesn’t require much maintence so if you are serving other things or need a shower before guests arrive, it’s a good time to do that. You can make it a day or two in advance too, if it makes it easier on you. Then you’ll only need about 20 minutes for the rest of this recipe.

    • 1.5 cups of balsamic vinegar (while I prefer the best I can buy, I was on a budget and bought Whole Foods Organic Balsamic Vinegar which ran about $6… I used about 1/2 a bottle)
    • 1 bay leaf
    •  handful of lemon-thyme (from my potted garden, again: any thyme will do)

    Put all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat and bring to a very gentle boil. Turn down to simmer for about 30 minutes or until 1/2 way reduced. You’ll know when it is done when it sticks to the spoon and for lack of a better word “drizzles”, see above photos. It will thicken more as it cools (allow time for this before serving).

    Toasted Macadamia Nuts:

    Next comes the nuts, this blog is sounding dirtier by the minute (use 6-8 ounces for about 20-30 grapes). I slowly added mine to our Vitamix (speed 1: a few nuts at a time). You could easily crush them with a mortar and pestle or put them in some other blender or food processor; the trick is not to turn them into mush and leave very small chucks.

    grapeRolls-9490 Add a couple of tablespoons of sweet chili sauce. Trader Joe’s make a good one as does Organic Valley.

    trader joes sweet chili sauce by . You could make your own too, by just adding some red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup (I was being lazy), just a touch will do as you don’t want it to be overpowering. Cook over  a medium-low heat (#3 on the dial) for about 15 minutes or until browned and looks like this.

    grapeRolls-9497 Goat Cheese Wrapped Grapes:

    Take a load of grapes and roll them in some soft goat cheese.

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    Then roll them in the nuts; for me the name of the game is making as little “washing up” as possible so I just piled the nuts together in the pan and rolled them there.

    grapeRolls-9501Lemon-Lime Garlic Swiss Chard:

    It couldn’t be easier.

    • Rinse and cut a bunch of swiss chard (stems removed)
    • set stove to med-low (2.5-3 on the dial) add some chopped garlic, I love emperor’s organic chopped garlic. I have always chopped it myself but they save me a lot of work and it’s worth the extra buck or two. I have tried a few different kinds emperor’s is my favorite.
    • add lemon zest of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 a lime (squeeze juice of both 1/2’s on to the Chard) and cook for about 5 minutes
    • Top with warmed goat cheese rolled in toasted macadamia nut grapes and balsamic reduction

    Wish I had a final picture but I forgot to take one, the goat cheese balls were disappearing as soon as they made it to the plate. They were most excellent. I served them alongside a mushroom stroganoff followed by a home made banana ice-cream made in the Vitamix, I’ll post and link those recipes soon. I love food.

     

     

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