Add this sweet and savory roasted grape and garlic compote to your cheese board to take it up a notch!
This slow roasted condiment is inspired by one introduced to me years ago at a cooking school called Culinary Communion. Not only does it fill the house with an enticing sweet and savory perfume while it’s cooking in the oven, it perfectly complements an evening of wine and cheese consumption. Best of all, it’s EASY to prepare. In other words, throw a few ingredients into a cooking vessel, put it in the oven, and let it take care of itself.
Roasted Grape and Garlic Compote Recipe
• 1 – 2 pounds of seedless grapes
• herbs of your choice – a couple of sprigs of rosemary or thyme
• 1 head of garlic, cloves removed and peeled
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• pinch of salt
• approximately 1/2 bottle white (Riesling was used here) or red table wine
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Place fruit, herbs, garlic, olive oil, and salt in a medium baking dish or Pyrex bowl. Then pour enough wine so that it is almost level with the top of the fruit. Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 50 minutes until the wine becomes syrupy. While in the oven, check on the dish periodically and if it is getting overly brown around the edges or cooking down too fast, cover it with foil.
Let the compote cool then serve it with some delectable cheese. We love aged cheddar, a bloomy rind cheese such as brie, and goat cheese on our cheese plate for a contrast in textures and flavors. Toast some bread to make crostini, or pile some crackers onto the platter. Voila, you’ve got an easy and delectable snack or dinner course.
This dish has herbs in it to add a savory note. However, the grapes bring sweetness to the compote. Keep that in mind for your pairing. A wine with a little residual sugar (RS as they say in the wine biz) wouldn’t hurt. In fact, a sweet dessert wine with a cheese course is divine.
One of my favorite pairings with a cheese board is sparkling wine. The cheese coats the mouth with all its rich deliciousness. Then, the fizzy bubbles come along and scrub a dub dub to keep your palate ready for more!
Riesling would be a lovely complement to the compote, especially if it’s the wine used for the recipe.
For red wine lovers, prepare the compote with a red wine then use the same wine to accompany your finished preparation. I tend to look for a lighter bodied wine so that it doesn’t duke it out with the cheese or fall flat from the sweetness in the compote. Some of the “alt wines” coming out of Oregon such as Gamay Noir or Pinot Meunier come to mind.
However, this is wine and cheese territory. Fun stuff, right? So, experiment and find what YOU like.