Need a cheeseboard of dreams? This slow roast grapes and garlic cheese platter is perfectly balanced with sweet and saltiness. It also looks beautiful and is perfect to plonk on the table at the end of a meal, giving people something to nibble as the conversation deepens and the wine glasses continue to be topped up.
In France cheese would be served before dessert but I prefer to have it after, giving everyone something to pick at and linger over. Or you can take the American approach (one that I do increasingly) and serve this as a welcome platter for people to pick at when they arrive for dinner.
Choose your cheese
This recipe is designed to balance and compliment good cheese. Hunt out a good local honey and some un-pasteurised cheese at a farm shop if you can. If not, most supermarkets sell a good range of goat’s cheese. You can also buy a washed rind squishy cow’s milk cheese. I’ve also made this with Quickes Cheddar at a recent event.
Slow roast grapes and garlic leftovers
You can roast the grapes and garlic the day before and serve them at room temperature. Leftover grapes can be kept in the fridge for a few days, they are lovely with yoghurt or porridge. Leftover garlic can be used to squeeze into a pasta sauce or stew.
Slow roast grapes and garlic cheeseboard ingredients
A bunch of grapes, purple seedless make the prettiest finished dish
1 stem of rosemary
1 tablespoon rapeseed (canola) oil
A round of soft goat’s or cow’s milk cheese, make sure it has been at room temperature for a few hours (see note above)
A baguette or some posh cheese crackers
1 bulb of garlic
A pot of honey
Optional – rosemary or thyme flowers
To make a slow roast grapes and garlic cheeseboard of dreams
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) 400°F (350°F convection).
- Line a flat baking tray with a piece of parchment paper and place the stem of rosemary on it with the whole bunch of grapes on top of that. Scatter the oil over everything.
- Cut the top third off the whole bulb of garlic, leaving the bottom third of the bulb intact. Tightly wrap the whole bottom piece in foil and place on the tray alongside the grapes and rosemary.
- Put the tray in the oven and cook for around 30-40 minutes until the grapes have popped and started to shrivel slightly. Test the garlic by unwrapping the foil. The pieces of garlic will have turned golden and will be very soft and sweet. If they’re at all hard, re-wrap the foil and pop back in the oven.
- When you’re ready to serve, slice the baguette as thinly as possible and lay them on a tray, cook in the oven for 5 minutes until the bread starts to crisp.
- To serve, scrunch the paper around the base of the bunch of grapes. Lay the paper and grapes on a board with the whole bulb of roasted garlic, cheese and crisp slices of bread. Put a pot of honey alongside with a few rosemary or thyme flowers scattered on top. If the honey isn’t runny, pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt slightly.
- To make the perfect bite, take a piece of bread, squeeze a clove of garlic onto it and spread it before putting a little cheese on top, a grape on top of that and a drizzle of honey over it.
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AD – I created this recipe as part of a trip to work with Mirabeau wine in Provence.