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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Toasted Nut Butter and Roasted Grape Sandwiches

 I knew a guy once who ate only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day.  Every day!  And he was in his 30's.  Blech.

Recently I started this infatuation with roasting grapes; it started because of a bunch of sad grapes slowly deteriorating in the fridge. They sat too long and were forgotten, but I wanted to rescue them and this seemed like the only viable option.

Through roasting, the grapes become sweet and tart at the same time.  So I
got to thinking about these roasted grapes as I was popping them into my mouth, and decided they could be used in place of jelly, on a sandwich, in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich more specifically.  But this would be an  upscale version of PB & J considering the roasted grapes, so regular old peanut butter wasn't going to work.

This called for home made nut butter, made with the random nuts in the house - almonds, pecans and walnuts. It's a simple process of blending the nuts with a pinch of salt and sugar (see my yummy cashew nut butter recipe here). 

The result?  Yup, it's an upscaled PB & J.  Great as an afternoon snack or this could be served as a little bruschetta appetizer for a fun party twist!  But as yummy as this is, eating it every day does not interest me in the least; why limit your fat and happiness to one dish?

Tips and Techniques:  Definitely use seedless grapes.  Last thing you want is to try to spit little grape seeds out of a nut butter covered mouth.  My preference is red, but if green is your thing, go with it.  Have patience with nut butter, if you add too much oil too soon you'll end up with a runny nut butter- that happened to me as you can tell from the photos, still delish though!

Toasted Nut Butter and Roasted Grape Sandwiches (aka peanut butter and jelly sandwich)

1 bunch of seedless grapes
1 cup nuts (almond, pecan, walnut or mix and match)
1-3 tsp of sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbls of pistachio, walnut or olive oil
baguette or sandwich bread

Lay the grapes on a baking sheet, leave them connected to the vines and place them in bunches.  Sprinkle them with a little olive oil.  The grapes will need about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven just until the nuts begin to brown, 5-6 minutes, watch them closely as they will burn in a blink of the eye. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.  Place in a blender with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the nuts with the oil and blend on high. You will need to have patience and scrap the sides down often, adding small drizzles of oil as needed. If you add too much oil early on, you will end up with a runnier nut butter (that's what happened to me!)

Assemble your sandwich or bruschetta.  I liked this with toasted bread but if you prefer the classic, soft bread just do that.  Spread the nut butter on one side, pick the grapes off the stems and place on the nut butter. Enjoy while the grapes are warm for the best flavor.


  1. That looks nasty. A waste of grapes and nuts.

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