I like to consider myself a spontaneous person, but when Ali texted me about riding roller coasters on Sunday afternoon, I balked. I hid from her text underneath a blanket on the couch for a solid ten minutes. Then I mustered up the strength to reply that roller coasters scare me to death, so probably not. Seriously, people die on roller coasters. They’re terrifying.
Then she said no one else could go. I started to feel bad. Whatever happened to being spontaneous? I looked up the park’s safety record, which was pretty solid except for the one rickety wooden roller coaster. She challenged me to face my fears. I asked how much the amusement park costs. All of this was just a downward slide toward a reluctant yes.
As I was getting ready, I seriously considered calling my mom to say my final goodbye. I almost asked my friend Matt to be Cookie’s godfather. I lamented not growing old and gray with my brothers. I’m a goner. Then I remembered that brother no. 1 survived sky diving. The odds were in our favor, as long as we avoided that wooden death trap. Quit being a sissy, self.
Long story short, we rode some roller coasters, and lived to tell. Can’t particularly say I enjoyed the thrill or that my fear of roller coasters is gone, but we did it. I don’t care if I never ride one again. After our nausea subsided, we left the amusement park for margaritas and queso on a rooftop patio. I’d do that part again in a heartbeat.
So no more roller coasters for me, friends. For the record, though, here’s an incomplete list of adventures I will say yes to: hiking, skiing, ice skating, roller blading, biking (look no hands!), zip lining, snorkeling, rock climbing, paddle boarding, paddle board yoga, aerial yoga, spontaneous trips/flights to pretty much anywhere. I could probably be convinced to go hang gliding (again), parasailing and scuba diving.
I say no to horror movies and sky diving. See also: base jumping. I feel better now that we cleared this up.
None of this has anything to do with crostini. My grandmother and aunt came to town last week and we went to dinner at Urban Table. We ordered an appetizer of grilled crostini with strawberry purée, brie and basil—one bite, and I knew I had to recreate it.
When it came time to make this recipe, strawberries turned into more seasonal raspberries, but then I couldn’t find organic raspberries. I switched to organic grapes, which solves my blog’s zero grape recipes issue. Then basil turned to thyme after an unscientific comparison taste test with the brie and roasted grapes.
I think you’ll be hooked on roasted grapes after you try these crostini. They’re jammy and sweet, almost like fig preserves. Roasted grapes pair remarkably well with creamy brie, but goat cheese or mild blue cheese would be delicious, too. This simple late summer appetizer would be perfect for girls’ night!
For more seasonal inspiration, check out other #eatseasonal group members’ September creations on Foodie Crush! And for a refresher on what’s in season now, check out my September produce guide!
Roasted Grape Crostini with Brie and Fresh Thyme
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Appetizer
This grape crostini is a simple appetizer for late summer get-togethers. Jammy, roasted grapes with creamy brie on toasts, topped with a sprinkling of fresh thyme, makes some seriously irresistible crostini. This recipe yields enough crostini to serve 4 as an appetizer.
- 1 small loaf of crusty whole grain bread, sliced into ½-inch slices
- 1 pound seedless red grapes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, give or take
- ¼+ pound wedge of brie (I only needed ¼ pound for my little loaf, larger/more crostini will require more brie)
- 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the top third and lower third of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet and a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Brush olive oil lightly over both sides of each slice of bread. Arrange the future toasts in a single layer on the large baking sheet. Remove all stems from the grapes. Transfer the grapes to the small baking sheet, toss them with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and then season them with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Place the grapes on the upper oven rack and the toasts on the lower. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the toasts; they will be ready to remove from the oven around the halfway mark, once they are nice and golden on top. Let the grapes roast for the full 20 minutes, and maybe a few minutes longer. They’re done when they’re tender and their skins are lightly wrinkled.
- Slice the brie into long, ¼-inch wide strips, then slice them into smaller strips to fit the crostini (leave the waxy rind on, it’s edible). Top each toast with enough brie to roughly cover the surface, followed by grapes. Finish the crostini with a light sprinkle of pepper and fresh thyme leaves.
Serving suggestions: This crostini would make a lovely, light meal when served with a little green salad.
Change it up: Feel free to substitute Gorgonzola cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone or ricotta for the brie. You could also add a light drizzle of honey and/or toasted, sliced almonds. Instead of toasting the bread in the oven, you could grill it for a more complex flavor.
More crostini: Check out my pear, raspberry and goat cheese crostini and cranberry orange crostini.
▸ Nutrition Information
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
These look so so perfect! I’m with you, roller coasters are NOT my jam, but I would take rooftop drinks after any day! Also, Cookie is such a cutie!!
Ohhh nice. I was thinking about making something with rucola and pine nuts tonight, but wasn’t sure what to add. Your recipe completes tonights dinner plans though I’ll skip the bread part… Thank you :)
(I think not riding roller coasters is nothing to be ashamed of ;) )
dixya@food, pleasure, and health
so proud of you for facing your fears – i absolutely hate roller coasters too. and this crostini sounds pretty damn good esp with brie and thyme together.
Graham @ Glazed & Confused
I’m with you. Margaritas and queso > roller coasters anyday.
This crostini though….. I’d definitely face my roller coaster fear for one of these.
Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen
Cheers on being a real life hero and riding some scary roller coasters! They really can scare the hell out of me, although, I kind of enjoy the adrenaline rush…
These crostini look great! I have all the ingredients at home so chances are high that I’m gonna make some soon! I’ve never roasted grapes and am truly intrigued to welcome them into my life.
I wish I could say I enjoyed the adrenaline rush! Roller coasters just aren’t for me. I hope you give roasted grapes a try, Sini. They’re a treat!
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
Okay, your roller coaster story brought back my own horrific memory of my last one. Never again! I guess it didn’t help that I took the ride after stuffing myself with churros, corn dogs, nachos, ice cream cones and whatever other fair food was there for the taking. I would rather do something much more civilized like making your delicious crostini!
Yikes, that sounds like an unpleasant experience! Woof.
Yeah, yum. I can just image how the grapes would pop in my mouth and meld so perfectly with the creamy brie. Can’t wait to make these!
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
I love crostini! Bread + cheese + fruits/veggies is such a good combination. Its one of those things I always get really excited about in restaurants and then I order it and its like umm I can totally make this at home why am I paying so much for toast with bucheron cheese and green apples? Really really love the roasted grapes, grapes are so underused in salads and savoury dishes :)
Oh I hear you! It’s kind of silly to order fancy toasts at restaurants but toast is so good, I just can’t help myself. Agreed on the grapes, I need more grape recipes!
Aimee @ Simple Bites
Bread, cheese, fruit…this is my jam. I could graze on this all day long!
Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen
Rollercoasters completely terrify me. Although, there was a time from high school through college, and possibly a bit after too, that I loved the thrill and even the fear. Those days are long gone.
Roasted grapes are the best! I love this appetizer for fall!
A couple other people have echoed your sentiment about roller coasters. They’ve always been terrifying to me! I think I’ll pass on the ‘coasters from here on out.
Sam @ pancakewarriors
Roasted grapes! You are a genius. I seriously want to leave work and try this. Thanks for sharing and yay you for riding the roller coaster!!!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Oh I love roasted grapes! They make such a great appetizer with all kinds of cheeses! And I’m with you – no horror movies. I’m still thinking about the last one I saw and that was 2 years ago. Yikes!
See, that’s why I haven’t watched a horror movie in 10 years! Toooo scary.
Sarah @ People, Places & Plates
Ha totally with you on the roller coasters! and horror movies…..margaritas on the other hand….
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
Oh these flavors are stellar, I could easily make a meal out of these crostini!
Oh yum! I love the sound of these flavors. Your roller coaster story made me laugh. I didn’t know you could look up the safety record of an amusement park, but that’s probably because the last time I went to one, we weren’t Googling things :) I used to love them, but the last time I went, I felt I had outgrown the long lines, heat, and terrible, but expensive food. I would get on board, though, if margaritas and queso was promised to me!
Haha! I found the safety records on Wikipedia, so maybe they weren’t accurate, but I survived nonetheless! I vote we skip the roller coasters and go straight to the margaritas and queso.
First, what is aerial yoga? Second, I was planning on making some pork rillettes for my visiting sister-in-law this week and I was going to serve them on crostini. I think this recipe might have to join the party! Wine, anyone?
Aerial yoga is sort of acrobatic yoga/gymnastics that uses loops of fabric that hang from the ceiling for resistance and support. It’s really fun! I tried it for the first time last Saturday and I’m looking forward to giving it another try this weekend.
I like your recipe, and I would have never guessed to use Thyme.
Jamie | Jamie's Recipes
I have never tried roasted grapes before. These crostini are so beautiful.
I’m thinking about making a giant tray and them sliding it back into the warm oven just long enough for the grapes to really settle into the brie, and bloom the thyme a little. And – not negotiable- a really full bodied red wine with this!
I like the way you think, Mary! Hope you’re well!
jenna @ just j.faye
i LOVE rollercoasters, but realize they aren’t for everyone. i’m pretty sure i would LOVE these crostinis as well – what a great flavor combo!
Grapes and cheese are such a wonderful pairing, and grilling the grapes is genius. I can almost imagine the sweetness of the grilled grapes, touched with a bit of smoke, and combining with the creamy bite of the cheese…all supported with the tactile crunch of the crostini. Can you guess I’ll be making these very soon? And I agree with Mary above that a bottle of red is mandatory.
Oh man, yes to all of the above! I like the way you think, Steve.
Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog
This flavor combo sounds absolutely awesome! Need to make these for my next get together with my family, they’ll <3 me even more than they already do if I show up with these!
Life and the lemons
You are such an inspiration – i visit your blog every day!
I just launched a new blog (http://www.lifeandthelemons.com/) – think it’s gonna be fun and exciting in time!
Have a look, and keep up the good work!
Ali | Gimme Some Oven
Well I, for one, am very glad you’re not a goner. And very glad that you’re my spontaneous (and great) friend. Next up — zip-lining in Costa Rica?? ;)
P.S. This crostini looks AMAZING.
Me too! :) Yes, let’s go to Costa Rica! Let’s go let’s go! I went zip lining over the jungle in Belize and I’d gladly do it again.
Kate @¡Hola! Jalapeño
Yay to things on toast!! And good for you for confronting your fears!! Way to be a grown-ass woman.
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
I used to be afraid of roller coasters– until I had enough experiences like yours, where I reluctantly agreed to go with friends, and now I love them. I have also been sky diving, and it’s actually not nearly as scary as roller coaster!
I love the idea of broiling the grapes. What a unique (and delicious sounding) idea! Would make a great elegant party finger food.
What! Roller coasters are scarier than sky diving?! I don’t think I could ever convince myself to take the leap off the plane.
Brian @ A Thought For Food
I’m terrified of heights but have gone on a few roller coaster rides (exhilarating in a “I’m pretty sure I’m going to die” kind of way), but I’m not sure I ever need to do that again. Or skiing. Not a fan. Hiking, I’m ok with as long as there’s nothing too steep. Airplane rides, cool. But I like to think that I take risks in other places in my life… don’t need to do any of that crazy stuff. :-)
This crostini is right up my alley. The combo of cheese and grapes (roasted = brilliant) and fresh herbs. Love everything about it.
Well, if you ever want to clink drinks at the bottom of a ski slope, let me know. Sometimes it’s more fun to watch. :) I don’t care if I never ride another roller coaster!
Holly @ The Very Hungry Blonde
Sounds like such a simple and lovely recipe!
I’m pretty sure I’m too old for rollercoasters…now that I’m such a worrywart in my old age. :P But GO YOU for facing your fears!
Also, I would like all of the crostini. Roasted grapes and brie just sound too good not to.
Roasted grapes! Never tried but now I have to. Your food loos so amazing
Aimee @ aim for healthy bites
First time reader of your blog. These look amazing, will have to try them out! I look forward to reading more.
Thanks, Aimee! Welcome to the blog!
I’m glad you solved your no grape recipe problem. Red grapes are in my top 3 fave foods, but I’ve never COOKED them… will have to try!
Oh, do try! They’re like candy once they’re roasted.
I have no idea how you summoned up the courage to do the rollercoaster. Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn, argh!!! Despite that fact, you looked so beautiful, calm and happy in the instagram photo (a tribute to your gorgeousness… my face always goes red as a tomato if I get scared or flustered; darn pale and freckled complexions!) and I’m glad that you got to end the day with some relaxing margaritas and queso. Ah.
As for the crostini, the combination of the jammy grapes, thyme and brie sounds divine. I have roasted grapes a couple of times and I completely agree that the flavour becomes so rich and delicious. Great recipe lovely!
Lynn Lovejoy at Order in the Kitchen
This looks amazing. I’ve never roasted grapes before but you are inspiring me to try something new…I like the idea that they taste similar to fig preserves… I can get on board with that! I’m also totally irrationally afraid of roller coasters, although I will reluctantly go on them. I also don’t do horror films or sky diving. Maybe we have more in common than we realized! Anyway, now I feel the need to host a party so that I can make these. Thank you! xo
This was delicious and so easy. I served as an appetizer for 7 at a dinner party. I used a wide loaf and cut it into small pieces, but I think a skinny loaf would definitely be a better bet next time. Everyone loved the jammy grapes! Any ideas on what to do with leftover grapes? I was thinking about putting in my food processor.
Hi Brittany! I’m glad it was a hit. Thanks for sharing. I would love to hear what you decide to do with the leftover grapes!
You have solved the age-old problem of what to do with sour grapes. After roasting, they become simply tart, and blended with the mild cheese offer a perfect contrast. Thank you!
Roasting grapes is pure genius. In addition, Thyme is subtly different from Basil with cheese. What I love is the simple flavors that melt together into a complex flavor that is unusual and very tasty. Thank You for the creativity.
I hope that your share with us the yummy results of your next big kitchen mess!!!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Linda!
I made these tonight, as sort of a side dish/main dish (they were my main dish but I also made my 14-year-old twins grilled cheese in case they didn’t like the crostini). One boy tried a single roasted grape and made a face. The other handed me the second half of his grilled cheese because he just wanted to eat crostini! I made them with black grapes because the store didn’t have red, but I’d like to try these with red — I think they’d be better.
I’m glad he wanted to eat it too! Thank you for your review, Margaret.
Happy Meal Prep
I love this recipe very much. Thanks for posting.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!