Roasted Grape & Brie Crostini, with Honey Roasted Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds

This is such an easy recipe for entertaining. You can make the roasted nuts in advance and just store them in an airtight container once they are completely cold. I also bought the baguette the night before and froze it. There is one really good French artisanal bakery here (it is called Le Fournil de Sebastien). Even though it is not very far from my home, it is out of my usual route and very often I just don’t have the time to go there. So now I just stock up when I am less busy, and keep it the freezer. I just sprinkle some water over the baguette. Then I bake it for about 15 minutes at 180C/350F and voilà, perfect baguette as it was just freshly made. For this recipe, I like the grapes to still keep their shape. So when you bite into them, they just burst open in your mouth. I roasted them in a bit of balsamic vinegar and port to add a bit more of a complex flavor to them. So good!

This recipe is for two medium baguettes.

Ingredients:
For the honey roasted walnuts & pumpkin seeds:
100grs of walnuts
60grs of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
Pinch of salt
For the roasted grapes:
500grs of red seedless grapes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of port
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
Extras:
2 baguettes, sliced
400grs of Brie
Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

Start by making the nuts. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and honey in a bowl, mix well with a fork. Then add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Mix well until they are evenly coated.

Spread them in a single layer and bake them for about 15-18 minutes, stirring half way through. Check that they don’t burn. Once the nuts are done, set them aside to cool down.

Raise the oven temperature to 220C/420F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the grapes from the vine. Add the olive oil, port, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sprinkle of salt. Add the grapes and toss to coat them. Spread the grapes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t forget to also pour the sauce.

Roast the grapes for 20-25 minutes until they begin to burst. You want them to still keep their shape.

To serve, place a slice of brie over each slice of bread. Top with some roasted grapes and a bit of the juice. Then add some of the honey roasted nuts and a few thyme leaves. Enjoy!

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Celeriac & Pear Soup with Roasted Pumpkin seeds, Pear chips and Chives

Celeriac pear soup

This was my lunch today. A creamy soup which is subtle in taste. I guess I was not done making fruit chips since now I made them with pears.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin seeds:

4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

Pinch of salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Pepper

1 tablespoon of olive oil

For the soup:

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped

3 Bosc pears (peeled, cored and chopped)

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup of cream

For the pear chips:

1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced with a mandoline

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

Extra:

Chives for decoration

 

Start by making the pear chips. Preheat the oven to 110C/230F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make a simple syrup by mixing the water with the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then transfer it to a bowl. Dip the pear slices in the syrup and then shake off any excess liquid. Spread them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 1 1/2 hours. About 1 hour into the baking, lift each chip so they are not sticking to the parchment paper.

To roast the pumpkin seeds, mix them with the paprika powder, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Spread the seeds in an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and let them cook for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an extra minute. Add the chopped celeriac, pears and stock. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes are up, blend it until smooth. I used an immersion blender.

Add the cream and let it cook for another 5 minutes while stirring.

Taste for salt. Divide the soup into two bowls. Top them with the roasted pumpkin seeds, pear chips and chopped chives. Enjoy!

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