Grape Pizzettes

Automne 2008
food and drink

BY: Nicole Young

These simple hors d’oeuvres are a perfect combination of sweet juicy grapes, tangy onions, crunchy walnuts and buttery pastry. Make them larger for an elegant first course served on a bed of arugula. Also try substituting your favourite crumbled blue cheese for the Le Marechal for a scrumptious variation.

1 lb (500 g) frozen pre-rolled puff pastry, thawed
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 large sweet onions, sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic or red wine vinegar
¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Le Marechal (or Gruyère)
2 cups (500 mL) Ontario red and green grapes, halved
½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Cut each piece of pastry into 25 pieces (about 2-inch/5-cm squares) and transfer to a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Can be prepared up to 2 days in advance; store in a freezer bag once firm.)

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook, stirring often, until golden brown, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook onions until they are a deep caramel colour and very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in thyme, vinegar and salt and pepper. Let cool. (Can be made up to 2 days in advance; refrigerated in a covered container.)

3. In a bowl, combine cheese, grapes and walnuts.

4. Transfer pieces of pastry to 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Brush with egg.

5. Divide onion mixture over top of each pastry. Top with grape mixture. Bake in the bottom and top third of a 450ºF (230ºC) oven, rotating trays after 10 minutes, until pizzettes are golden on the bottom, slightly puffed and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 18 minutes. Serve warm.Makes 50 pieces