I realize that a few of you might have already turned your noses up at the title of this post...but give me just half a minute to tell you that this salsa/dip, is not only different, but refreshing, bright, creamy, with nothing but flavor in every bite! When Stella served this to us at our book club, (thanks Stella!) she described it as, "Just a fun dip!" She wasn't kidding, it IS fun...so fun that you'll want to double the recipe...so fun you'll want to serve this tomorrow, so your guests can whet their appetites while the bird is finishing browning in the oven...so fun that you'll want to serve this on Saturday while your caveman is watching college football; he'll reach for a chip, stick it in the dip, put it in his mouth and pull a face because he was expecting something else, something less fun, and then he'll eat every drop and go for more. Yes, even the mister, king of all things bland, thoroughly enjoyed every grape and pepper filled bite!
Did your mom make pepper jelly? Mine did, we always seemed to have some in the pantry - or if mom didn't make it then one of our neighbors did, it was kind of a staple at our house. The day after I made this for the first time, mom called to tell me she had just made pepper jelly...oh to have had a jar of hers! So this starts with pepper jelly, but I was fresh out so I bought this Tabasco brand at Safeway, it is delish and not at all hot or spicy like you might think! The pepper jelly is combined with lime juice, cilantro, green onion, bell pepper, and grapes!
Everything is combined in one bowl - it's so colorful! Really truly, this one is a keeper and worth FIVE dangs on the ol' Dang Meter - it will amaze you because it's got everything goin' on...crunchy, crispy, fresh, cool, peppery and then...then there's the creaminess of goat cheese!
The goat cheese is crumbled and added to the mix but it won't stay in pieces for long - it will melt into the most creamy of concoctions, combining with the juices, and this is when this salsa goes from ordinary to extraordinary. If you don't like goat cheese, I suppose you could use Feta...or Gorgonzola...but I'm not suggesting either will taste as good...when it comes to this recipe, I'm sticking with the original, tinker if you must but I'm not budging when it comes to goat cheese!
Goat Cheese and Grape Salsa - Recipe from Southern Living, October 2012, via Stella Jones
This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups, do yourself and everyone at your house a favor and double it!
2 tablespoons pepper jelly (homemade or store bought)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup quartered seedless red grapes
1/4 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 (4-oz.) package crumbled goat cheese
In a medium bowl, whisk together pepper jelly and lime juice. Stir in grapes, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro. Add goat cheese crumbles and stir, the cheese will begin to liquefy, with some pieces remaining. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Serve with crackers, baguette slices, chips, whatever flutters your heart. Serves 4 to 6.