Easy Appetizer– Pistachio and Goat Cheese Grapes

Let’s talk about appetizers for a minute.  Because they’re kiiiiind of the best part of the meal.  Having an excuse to make a bunch of appetizers is MOST of the reason I like hosting parties.  Yeah, yeah, my friends are great, I love to see them, yada, yada, yada, but the appetizers are where it’s at.  Unfortunately, most people (well, the people in this apartment anyway) don’t make appetizers for day-to-day dinners.  So sad!  Can we change that?  I feel a social movement coming on…

But I digress.  When BF’s parents were coming to town, I knew I had my chance to sneak an appetizer onto the menu.  After all, they would be coming from a cross-country, all-day flight.  Surely they had not been able to eat normally, so they would probably be hungry when they got here.  And it would be just plain cruel to make them wait for the chicken tetrazzini to come out of the oven.  It was really the humane thing to do to make an appetizer.  Obviously.

Yes, BF's parents wanted to see the White House.  And their son.  But I have a sneaking suspicion they REALLY came for the Goat Cheese Grapes...

Yes, BF’s parents wanted to see the White House. And their son. But I have a sneaking suspicion they REALLY came for the Goat Cheese Grapes…

These little appetizers involve two of my very favorite foods: goat cheese and pistachios.  Add to that some crunchy green grapes, a drizzle of honey, and some black pepper and you’ve got a serious winner.  They’re fairly rich, despite their grape-y base, so don’t eat too many of them or you won’t be hungry for dinner!  Or just make them your dinner? Either would be fine in my book.  The grapes are best eaten close to when you make them, as the pistachios can lose their crunch over time.  If you ARE trying to make them ahead of time, refrigerate the cheese-covered grapes and roll in pistachios only when ready to serve.

Pistachio-Goat Cheese Grapes

1/2 lb. Green Grapes (around 40)

4-5 oz. soft Goat Cheese

1 1/2 oz. Cream Cheese ( I HATE HATE HATE cream cheese, but you can’t taste it, promise!)

1 1/4 c. shelled Salted Pistachios

Honey for drizzling

Ground Black Pepper

Wash and dry grapes.

Wash and dry grapes.

 Mix goat cheese and cream cheese together and place in fridge to chill (you can do this for anywhere between 30 min. and 24 hours, depending on your timetable).

Mix goat cheese and cream cheese together and place in fridge to chill (you can do this for anywhere between 10 min. and 24 hours, depending on your timetable).

Crush pistachios.  You COULD chop them into teeny bits, but if you don’t have a nut chopper that is a big fat pain in the tookus (how on EARTH does one spell that word?!).  So instead, I placed the nuts in a plastic bag and used a rolling pin to crush them.  MUCH faster.  And good for getting aggression out too, so hey, win-win!

In a few minutes you will go from this...

In a few minutes you will go from this…

to this!

…to this!  The layer under this is mostly dust, so don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if you have lots of nut-dust.  It will be good for getting full coverage on the grapes.

Now comes the fun part where you get to get your hands a little messy.  Using your fingers, spread about 2 t. goat cheese mix  on a grape (don’t bother measuring this.  When the grape is covered, it’s covered), then roll the nut in pistachios, using dust to fill in gaps.  Set grapes on serving plate as you go.  When finished, drizzle grapes with honey and dust with pepper.  Insert toothpicks and serve!

Voila!

Voila! Is it just me or do they look kind of adorable, all round and snuggly together?  Maybe it’s the autumnal platter on which they’re sitting.  Or maybe I need to get out of the kitchen a bit more often…

These little guys are YUM. MY.  And they really aren’t a ton of work.  They’re a nice way to work fruit, cheese, and nuts into an appetizer in a different way.  The mix of salty, savory, and sweet, with the added spice of the pepper, hits all the right notes.  These will be an easy hit at your next party!  Or just because.  Together we can make  a difference– together we can make weekday appetizers a reality!

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