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:
- 2 Organic Farmer’s Market Heirloom Tomatoes
- Imported Buffalo Mozzarella (from Italy, of course),
- 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.
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.
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.
Take a load of grapes and roll them in some soft goat cheese.
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.
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.