Our friends at Columbine Vineyards really know their grapes. And we’re not talking about your everyday grape enthusiasts, we’re talking about some serious grape heads.
It all started in 1926, when Marin Caratan, the founder of Columbine Vineyards, harvested his first crop of premium table grapes in Delano California. Since then, the Caratan family and the team at Columbine Vineyards has been committed to one thing: Growing and producing the highest quality grapes possible. Today the third and fourth generations of the Caratan family continue to cultivate his original vineyard, as well as those acquired in the years since. The Caratan Family is committed to maintaining Marin’s dedication to the propagation of new varietals, consistent quality and superior products.
This time of year, look for Holiday Seedless Grapes from Columbine Vineyards in the Heinen’s Produce Department.
Holiday Seedless Grapes are a proprietary variety that is the result of over 30 years of cross breeding different premium grape varieties. They’re as sweet, juicy, and delicious as any candy served this time of year, yet better for you. They’re bright, shiny and red-like ornaments upon a tree or a certain reindeer’s nose. And they come in big, luxurious bunches which look gorgeous in a table centerpiece, decorative fruit bowl or gift basket.
Just like the season, they’ll be gone before you know it. Experience them today!
Blue Cheese Crostini with Thyme Roasted Grapes
1 loaf french bread
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz bleu cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 – 2 cups Holiday Seedless Grapes
1 large bunch thyme
1 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 350 F. Discard ends of bread loaf and thinly slice on a slight diagonal. Brush each side lightly with olive oil and place in even layer on baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 10-15 minutes. These can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, store at room temp in an airtight container until ready to assemble.
Let bleu cheese and cream cheese come to room temperature. Combine cheese, 1 TB olive oil, and white wine vinegar in food processor. Process until smooth. Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to assemble. (I used a ziploc bag and then just snipped a corner off to squeeze it out onto the toasts when I was assembling the crostini.)
Set oven to 400 F. Wash and pat grapes dry. Remove from stems and toss with 2 TB olive oil. Spread sprigs of thyme out over a large baking sheet. Spread grapes over thyme and drizzle with honey. Bake until grapes are just beginning to burst, about 10-15 minutes.
To assemble: bring cheese spread to room temp. While grapes are roasting, spread cheese mixture over prepared crostini. Remove grapes from oven and top each crostini with a few grapes. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe and images courtesy of Columbine Vineyards