This is a fun and unique appetizer perfect for entertaining during the upcoming holiday season. You have sweet and tart and salty crunch, all in one mouthful. Be forewarned: You have to get very handsy with the preparation but otherwise it’s a very simple recipe with a just a few ingredients and involves no actual cooking. I discovered this recipe from Cuisine At Home two years ago and love that the calorie count is so low. The recipe says that you can coat around 40 grapes with the mixture but they are insane; typically I’ve made about 15 to 20 from the amount they recommend using. So, if you want to make sure you have enough coating for 40 grapes, double the amount of the ingredients.
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 1/2 ounce cream cheese (I use non-fat cream cheese, although the recipe doesn’t specify)
1 1/4 cup shelled pistachios (use whatever you can find or prefer; I used roasted and salted shelled pistachios)
15-20 seedless grapes (I used green seedless, but there’s nothing stopping you from using red grapes. They don’t have to be uniformly the same size but try to keep them in the medium-sized range)
1 Tbsp honey
Black pepper to taste
I recommend taking the cream cheese, goat cheese and grapes out of the refrigerator a few hours before you start making this appetizer so that they are at room temperature. Although the recipe calls for a food processor to break down the pistachios, you can always use the tried and true method of whacking away at them in a sealed plastic baggie (see further below)
Combine the goat cheese and cream cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth. It will have sort of a paste texture to it.
Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until the pieces are roughly the size of peppercorns (again, don’t worry about everything being the same size. You just want to be able to use the pistachios as coating on top of the cheese mixture.) Put the pulsed pistachios in a small bowl.
If you don’t have a food processor, go old school and place the pistachios in a sealed plastic baggie and crush them using the bottom of a pan or even a meat mallet if you have that handy. Will take a little longer but it’ll work:)
Wash your grapes well, using a veggie and fruit spray if you have it, and then pat dry with paper towel.
Now for the fun part. Press the cream cheese-goat cheese mixture onto each grape, rolling the grape between your palms until coated (Be patient; the coating doesn’t always want to stick the first time). Don’t freak out if there’s some of the grape exposed. The pistachio coating will help cover those areas.
Roll the cheese-coated grapes in the bowl with the pulsed pistachios.
Place the finished coated grapes on a platter. We’re almost done.
Drizzle the one Tbs of honey evenly over the grapes and season lightly with pepper (I forgot this step once and didn’t really miss it, but the honey and pepper take this appetizer over the top).
Finally, insert a toothpick into each grape, so that your guests have an easy way to eat this delicious appetizer (you can use standard kitchen-style toothpicks but why not invest in some colorful toothpicks to use for a festive occasion?) Place the platter of coated grapes in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of four hours.
Serving Size: two grapes
Cal: 65; Total Fat: 4 g (Sat fat: 1 g); Chol: 4 mg; Sodium: 22 mg; Fiber: 1 g; Total Sugars: 3 g; Carbs: 5 g; Pro: 2 g