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Housemade Seed Crackers with Spicy Grapes, Mascarpone and Honey

Serves16
IngredientsCheese, Fruit
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeItalian
Housemade Seed Crackers with Spicy Grapes, Mascarpone and Honey

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission

As a base for the increasing number of small bites and tapas showing up on menus, chefs are creating distinctive crackers in-house. These crisp carriers often incorporate whole-grain flours, nuts and seeds to further differentiate them from ordinary toasts or commercial crackers. Juicy red grapes and creamy mascarpone add contrasting texture in this recipe.

Ingredients

Housemade Crackers
4 oz. whole-wheat flour
3 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds, chopped
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. olive oil
5 to 6 oz. water
Flour, for dusting

Fresh Grape Topping
1 cup red grapes, divided
1 serrano chili pepper, charred
1/4 cup finely minced fennel bulb
1 scallion, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Warmed honey, as needed
Sea salt, as needed

Steps

  1. Prepare crackers: In medium bowl, whisk together both flours, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, and baking powder. Add olive oil and stir until combined. Add water and stir to create a firm dough.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll out dough to 1/16-inch thick, cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes on first side; flip and bake another 4 minutes. Cool and store.
  4. Prepare grape topping: Slice 1/2 cup grapes and halve remaining 1/2 cup grapes; reserve both. Stem, seed, and mince serrano pepper. In small bowl, combine charred minced pepper, sliced grapes, fennel, scallions, olive oil, lime juice, salt and cayenne. Toss to combine and set aside for 20 minutes to develop flavors.
  5. For service: Spread a thin amount of mascarpone on each cracker, top with 1 tablespoon grape topping, a few halved red grapes, a drizzle of warm honey and a little sea salt. Serve immediately.

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