Do you know what a muscadine is? It is okay if the answer is no, considering most southerners would answer the same.
My childhood included a giant muscadine vine in the back yard, and most years it produced plethora of the juicy fruits. We had so much fruit growing in the backyard, my mother and I even tried our hand at making muscadine wine. It may have turned out a little on the vinegary side.
A muscadine is the south’s version of a grape but gooier and a bit more tart. They are in season right now and can be found by the carton full at your local farmer’s market. I naturally scooped up more than I could reasonably use in one recipe because finding them inspired me to create.
You can eat them like a grape, but after years of tasting the unique fruit, I can advise you that straight off the vine is not the best option. Roasting them at a high temperature breaks down some of the fibrous material and subdues the chewy fruit. It also adds to the overall flavor since by roasting you are caramelizing the natural sugars.
You can do a lot with a raw or roasted muscadine, but for this years bounty a muscadine toast sounded like an interesting option. A quick call to one of my all-time favorite Savannah restaurants, Cotton & Rye, and I scored a gigantic warm loaf of fresh baked rye bread.
The last ingredient I selected to round out the flavors was fresh, creamy ricotta with a squeeze of lemon.
I think you will find this recipe simple, unique, and quite delicious. Since muscadines are so unique and often difficult to find, I would love to hear you ideas on how to use the fruit.
- 1 Pound of Fresh Muscadines
- 1 Small Loaf of Rye Bread, sliced
- 1 Lemon
- 250g of Fresh Milk Ricotta
- Flake Salt
- Olive Oil
- First prepare your ricotta. Zest and juice the lemon then combine with the ricotta. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse the muscadines and allow the to dry.
- Place the muscadines on a cookie sheet, then coat with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Roast for approximately 20 minutes.
- While the muscadines roast, prepare the bread.
- Toast the rye bread in a toaster until golden brown and crispy.
- Slather each toast with prepared ricotta and three to four roasted muscadines.
- Finish the toast with a sprinkle of finishing salt.
- *Optional, you can also finish the toast by sprinkling over microgreens.
For another childhood southern recipe click here.