Roasted Grape and Ricotta Crostini Appetizer Recipe

Grapes are a go-to choice when making a fruit salad or charcuterie board, but they are so much more versatile than that! One of the most surprising things about grapes is how great they are when roasted. This super easy recipe using HMC Farms grapes is a great way to elevate your appetizers and small plate offerings from home gatherings to catered events.

What you’ll need for about 16 pieces of crostini:

  • 1 bunch of HMC Farms red seedless table grapes
  • Fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 medium-sized loaf of rustic bread
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: honey, balsamic glaze, or walnuts

Steps to roasted grape crostini bliss:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the grapes and let them dry. Tip: We chose to use HMC Farms sliced grapes, but you can choose whether to slice the grapes in half or leave them whole.
  • Spread the grapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with thyme or rosemary sprigs, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the grapes a bit on the pan and then place in the oven for about 8 minutes, checking after 5 minutes.

    Tip: It’s okay for the grapes to split or wrinkle up, but avoid letting them burn.

 

  • While the grapes are in the oven, slice the bread to desired thickness (we prefer about ½”), brush one side with olive oil, and grill in a pan or on a griddle. Brush the other side with olive oil and flip. Remove from the pan when both sides look lightly toated.
  • Remove grapes from the oven and set the pan out to cool.
  • Spread fresh ricotta on one side of each piece of toasted bread. Add 4-5 grapes to the top of each piece, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme or rosemary.

Tip: These are great just the way they are, but there are also lots of options for additions to top off the appetizer. Try drizzling a little honey, olive oil, or balsamic glaze over the top, or even adding a few chopped walnuts!

 

HMC News – October 2, 2019

Allison red seedless table grapes are now in harvest! The crunchy texture and sweet flavor of the berries make Allison a memorable varietal that brings people back for more. Contact your HMC salesperson for more information on pack styles and availability.

Crop Update:

HMC Farms tree fruit season is winding down, but table grape harvest is still going strong. At this point, all vines have been covered for rain protection. Timco, Allison, and Krissy red seedless grapes are in harvest, as well as Autumn King green seedless grapes. The forecast shows a few cool days leading up to a warm start to next week. The overnight lows are in a range that should help move the color along in our red seedless grape varietals.

HMC News – September 25, 2019

We are currently in the process of placing vine cover on our late season grape varieties. Vine cover protects grapes from early rain in September and October. The timing of the cover placement is important because we don’t want to cover the vines in very hot temperatures and trap heat around the grapes, but we also want to protect the grapes from rainfall as early as possible. We normally begin covering our grape vines in early to mid September, when we begin to see chances of precipitation in the forecast.

Crop Update:

Harvest continues to slow for HMC Farms tree fruit. Table grape harvest is in full swing. Timco red seedless grapes have begun harvest. Allison red seedless and Autumn King green seedless grapes will harvest soon. The weather on our farms has jumped back into the 90s for a few days, but the forecast shows a progressive drop in high temperatures, putting highs in the 70s to start next week.

HMC News – September 18, 2019

Holiday plums are here! We wait all year for this HMC Farms proprietary red plum that has green undertones, speckled skin, and a sweet and distinctive flavor. Contact your HMC Farms salesperson for more information on availability.

Crop Update:

Harvest is slowing for HMC Farms tree fruit. Scarlet Royal and Krissy red seedless table grapes and Autumn King green seedless table grapes are in harvest. Timco and Allison red seedless grapes will harvest soon. The forecast shows high temperatures ranging from the low 80s to the low 90s. We are closely monitoring any chances of early rain, which tend to pop up in the second half of September.

STEM activity sheets – learn with grapes!

What is STEM?

STEM stands for an idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an applied, blended and cohesive approach that encourages a hands-on experience while allowing students a chance to gain and apply relevant “real world” knowledge in the classroom.

STEM has become a critical component to nation-wide Academic Standards. Together with The Produce Moms and a middle school science teacher, we developed two STEM projects for middle school students using grapes. Because why not combine a science experiment with one of the most popular fruits?

The best part about our two grape STEM experiments…you can download them and print them off for FREE.

Grapes for STEM Projects

Grape Smash. Our Grape Smash STEM Project is designed for students to practice classification along with learning about the Law of Conservation of Mass.

Download the free HMC Farms Grape Smash STEM Activity Sheet

Dancing Grapes. Our Dancing Grapes STEM project focuses on using the POE (Predict-Observe-Explain) strategy.  Predicting, Observing and Explaining incorporates the fundamental processes associated with all discovery learning. This project allows students to use all 5 senses and allows them to communicate and demonstrate their understandings through written and visual explanations.

Download the free HMC Farms Dancing Grapes STEM Activity Sheet

To learn more about The Produce Moms, visit their website.

HMC News – September 11, 2019

HMC Farms just won the Buyer’s Choice Award with our new SpongeBob™ and PAW Patrol™ grape multipacks at the California Food Expo! For more information on these products, contact Chelsea: chelseak@hmcfarms.com. These products will be in the Fresh Ideas Showcase at PMA Fresh Summit, where HMC Farms will be present at booth #3079. Contact your HMC Farms salesperson if you’d like to schedule a time to meet at PMA regarding this or other topics.

Crop Update:

Harvest is slowing for HMC Farms tree fruit. Holiday plums are now available! Krissy and Scarlet Royal red seedless table grapes, and Great Green green seedless table grapes are in harvest. Timco and Allison red seedless and Autumn King green seedless grapes will harvest soon. The forecast shows fluctuating temperatures. At this point in the year, we have to watch out for chances of early rain.

HMC News – September 4, 2019

HMC Farms is competing in the California Food Expo’s Golden State Award with our new SpongeBob™ and PAW Patrol™ grape multipacks. This award is based on social media likes on the product photo on Instagram and Facebook. Help us win by liking the photo on both platforms! For more information on how to purchase these products, contact Chelsea: chelseak@hmcfarms.com.

Crop Update:

Harvest is slowing down a bit for HMC Farms peaches, plums, and nectarines. Table grape harvest continues with Krissy and Scarlet Royal red seedless table grapes, and Ivory and Great Green green seedless table grapes in harvest. Timco red seedless grapes will harvest soon, followed by Allison red seedless and Autumn King green seedless grape harvest beginning near the end of the month. The forecast shows a few more hot days, with a break in the heat over the weekend and into next week.

5 Facts About Peaches

It’s the last day of National Peach Month, and we’ve got some fun facts about peaches for you!

Click here to download the PDF version of 5 facts about peaches.

Caramelized Peaches Recipe

We love homemade ice cream! We actually love it so much that we occasionally make it at the HMC Farms office. Something about homemade vanilla ice cream on a hot day just makes everything better, but we like to elevate our ice cream just a bit with the topping we can’t live without: caramelized peaches.

This recipe is enough for about 14-16 bowls of ice cream.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 large HMC Farms peaches
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Start by slicing or chopping your HMC Farms peaches, discarding the pits. Place the peaches in a bowl and mix in the fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and cinnamon.

Melt the butter and brown sugar in a skillet on medium heat. Once the butter has melted and combined with the sugar, add the peaches and increase to medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

When the juice from the peaches, butter, and sugar have reduced into a thicker consistency, remove the pan from heat and let it stand a little before serving.

Tips:

Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to split this into 2 different batches, the peaches should not be more than 2 pieces deep when putting them in the pan to cook.

Warm peaches are delicious, but if they are too hot they will melt the ice cream rapidly. Let the peaches stand a bit to cool before using them as topping for your ice cream.

Peaches straight from the pan are hot! When taste testing, let the peaches cool slightly to avoid burning your mouth.

If ice cream isn’t your thing, caramelized peaches can also be added to yogurt.

HMC News – August 28, 2019

Drew and Alex from our HMC Farms grape team recently took a trip to Murcia, Spain, to visit the Sheehan Genetics grape breeding facility. The trip enabled Drew and Alex to explore the new varieties in development at Sheehan, some of which will soon arrive to the United States to be planted. We continuously search for new varieties with the best flavor and eating quality, which also fit into certain time frames during our grape harvest season. The trip was very informative, and we are excited for what the future will bring!

Crop Update:

Harvest remains ongoing for HMC Farms peaches, plums, nectarines, and table grapes. Krissy and Scarlet Royal red seedless table grapes are in harvest, with Timco harvesting soon. Ivory green seedless table grapes are in harvest, with Great Green harvesting soon. The forecast shows peak temperatures mostly in the high 90s, with overnight lows in the mid 60s.