Lucky Me! My sister and brother-in-law had to come into town for a wedding! So we all took a day or two off work and made it a nice long weekend. So, of course, we needed something to eat!
It has become a tradition for my husband and I to drive out highway 94 to visit the wineries on Columbus Day. In October the weekends are busy with crowds of people at the wineries. They come to listen to live music, have lunch and taste some great wines. But on Monday, Columbus Day, we have the wineries to ourselves. There are no lines and we can pick the best table in the place. Although the music is nice, the peace and quiet is really nice too. Pretty scenery with a hawk or two flying above the vineyards. The weather is starting to cool off and although it is early, the trees are turning pretty reds, yellows and oranges. We spend some time together and enjoy some wine in the beautiful outdoors.
A trip to the wineries with family and friends was definitely on the list. For me, having company and house guests means figuring out some meals and, of course, some fun things to nibble. After a day at the wineries, I did not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I thought of making focaccia. It goes great with wine! I even have this amazing recipe from some Italian friends whom have since gone back to Italy. And even though the recipe is not difficult, I wanted to do something even easier after a long day in the vineyards.
I found a package of ready made flatbread in the refrigerated section of the grocery store right next to those cans of biscuits and pie dough. Life couldn’t get any easier than that. You can also use pizza dough, if your store doesn’t have the flatbread dough.
So it was on the menu as either a light dinner or to pair with wine. Nice to have options when you don’t know how the plans will go. And so easy! Here is what I did.
Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 F for at least 30 minutes. Then I ran out to the garden with my scissors to clip a few sprigs of rosemary and some chives. I washed the herbs and chopped the rosemary pretty fine. The dough came rolled in parchment paper, so I unrolled the parchment on a cutting board. I drizzled a little olive oil over the dough and sprinkled on some sea salt and the rosemary. Then I cut the red seedless grapes in half and pressed them into the dough with the cut side down.
Slide the flatbread on to your pizza stone using the parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the grapes have begun to release some of their juices. But don’t let the crust get too crispy. Crumble your blue cheese on top and bake for another 2 minutes longer, until the cheese melts.
Slide your flatbread back onto the cutting board. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with your fresh snipped chives. The honey helps the chives stick. I used scissors and cut several chives at a time right over the flatbread. That is it! It is ready to serve and looks pretty with the grapes and scattered chives. Just cut the flatbread into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. This is amazing with a nice glass of wine.
For a party, cut the squares into smaller appetizer size bites. But larger squares are nice for lunch or dinner as well.
Good friends, family, food and wine! Throw in a Anheuser Busch Brewery tour, some winery tours, an escape room and this weekend seemed more like a mini-vacation than a long weekend.
Easy Flatbread with Grapes, Blue Cheese and Rosemary
1 package flatbread refrigerated dough
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
sprinkle of sea salt and pepper
2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
3 oz of blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp snipped chives
- Preheat oven to 450 F and a place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven. Preheat for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out flatbread dough and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Then press the grape halves cut side down into the dough.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a light golden brown around the edges.
- Crumble blue cheese on top and bake for another 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chives.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
It can’t get any easier than that!! It pairs well with a variety of wines from a fruity rose to a dry red.
It also makes nice leftovers for lunch the next day or a snack. You can reheat in the microwave, only about 30 seconds. It still stays pretty crispy, but the cheese remelts nicely.
I will have to share my Italian Fococcia next time. It has a thicker, softer dough and is very nice!