Grapes Make The Plate: Fresh Ideas For Modern Menus
Ingredients Amount
Carbonated grapes
Green grapes 8 oz.
Dry muscat 4 oz.
 
Crispy toast
French bread boule or batard, small 1 ea.
Grapeseed oil
 
Gastrique
Dry muscat 12 oz.
Sugar 1 oz.
Champagne ½ oz.
 
Vinaigrette
Shallots, small 3 ea.
Champagne vinegar 3 oz.
Grapeseed oil 6 oz.
Extra virgin olive oil 3 oz.
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground to taste
 
Assorted salad greens, small 8 cups
Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, cut into 24 small triangular pieces  
Chrysanthemum petals (or other edible flower petals)  

Method

  1. For the carbonated grapes: Take each grape and pierce the skins in 4 different places using a small needle. Refrigerate the grapes and the Muscat until completely cold and place both into a soda siphon (ISI or seltzer siphon). Seal the top of the siphon and charge with four C02 bulbs. Place the siphon in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours to fully charge the C02. At the time of service release the gas from the siphon and remove the grapes, cutting in half lengthwise for the final presentation and keeping cold.

  2. For the crispy toast: Wrap the loaf of bread in plastic wrap and freeze completely. Using an automatic slicer or a sharp bread knife, cut into at least 24 thin pieces, keeping the shape of the loaf intact. Brush both sides of each piece with grapeseed oil and toast under the broiler until crisp. Remove and keep in a dry area for service.

  3. For the gastrique: Combine the muscat and the sugar in a pan and reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add the vinegar and continue to reduce until the mixture has formed a glaze. Pour the mixture into a small container and cool completely for service.

  4. For the vinaigrette: Peel and thinly slice the shallots lengthwise. Place the shallots in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar and a small amount of salt. Place in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes until the shallots become bright pink and softened. Combine the grapeseed and olive oils and blend with a fork gently into the vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper.

  5. To assemble: Lightly toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette and the shallots. On 8 chilled salad plates begin to layer the salad with the cheese, carbonated grape halves, and crispy toasts. Drizzle the plates with the gastrique and garnish with the flower petals.

Yield: 8 portions