24slicesFrench baguettecut diagonally into ½-inch thick slices
½cupshaved Manchego cheese
Preheat oven to 400°. In a a large bowl, toss grapes with rice vinegar, olive oil, salt , pepper and orange peel. Spread evenly in a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Scatter rosemary sprigs around the sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes.
Scatter pecans on top. Roast another 10 minutes. The grapes will soften, wilt and become jammy. Spoon everything into a container; set aside.
Remove rosemary from baking sheet and pull rosemary needles from stems. Sprinkle in about half of the needles with the grapes and nuts then spoon into a container; set aside. (Save the extra rosemary needles.)
Preheat broiler. Lay crostini slices on an ungreased baking sheet and broil 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
Top each crostini with warm grape mixture and some cheese, making sure each crostini has some rosemary and at least one pecan on it. Add extra rosemary needles if desired.
Use a potato peeler to shave off thin strips of Manchego cheese from the cheese block.
The crostini topping can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and heated upon serving. The cheese can be sliced a day ahead too and stored in an airtight plastic bag. Toast the crostini and assemble just before serving.
Make sure each crostini has a few rosemary needles, some cheese and at least one pecan along with the grapes.
For the crostini, look in the bakery department for a long, thin loaf labeled “baguette”. It has the perfect texture for toasting and gets nice and crisp.
Use a red table grape. I really like the Muscat grapes that I get from Melissa’s Produce. They have just the right amount of sweetness.
Fresh orange zest is always the best, but I often rely on dried orange zest because I always have it in my pantry. It works beautifully in this recipe.
Fresh rosemary can be found in most grocery stores in the refrigerated produce section. You’ll want 5-6 sprigs.
Manchego cheese – This semi-hard Spanish cheese has a zesty, slightly salty flavor and is wonderful with crostini. Can also use Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano.
Use pecan halves (not chopped) for the most impressive appearance. I get mine from Millican Pecans and I recommend them highly. The quality and flavor are top-notch.