roasted grape and olive crostini Recipes

roasted grape and olive crostini

Within the great file of my favorite food category, Things I Can Put On Toast, I dare you to find anything easier to whirl up in the minutes before a party than artichoke-olive crostini, the terribly named but unmatched in Mediterranean deliciousness of feta salsa or walnut pesto. Lightly broil a thinly sliced baguette — and I vote for preparing a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, ready to bake off later, nobody minds — and voila: it’s suddenly a party.

a mix of grapes and olives isn't necessary
ready to roast

This is my new favorite addition to the category. Although it takes longer to cook, it takes just as little time to throw together. This seemingly simple combination of two ingredients, roasted together, become so much more than the sum of their parts. Personally, I’m not a great fan of either on their own; I find most grocery store grapes too sweet and readily-available olives too aggressively salty and one-note. But in the oven together, these bugs become features. The briny bite of the olives tangles with the syrupy sweetness of the grapes and together, make a juicy mess that’s incredible with rosemary and sea salt, heaped on a ricotta-slathered toast.

roasted grapes and olives

The best part is you don’t have to go hunting for that exasperatingly overused phrase these days, “the best ingredients.” I’ve made this with everything from NYC street cart grapes on their last legs and from certified organic, just-plucked Greenmarket blocks away and both were delicious. It doesn’t care if your olives have been imported from Greece, Italy or Trader Joe’s, that I used a baguette from a nearby bodega that also sells enhancement pills and 40s, and that I didn’t even make my own ricotta (gasp!). It just works, which means you’ll have more time to do things you’ll regret seeing on Instagram the next morning and other great holiday party traditions.

roasted grape and olive crostini

In The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: These two ingredients tangle together in an easy weeknight chicken dish.

Planning a party? You’re going to need some drinks and snacks.

One year ago: Rum Campari Punch
Two years ago: Fromage Fort
Three years ago: Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze
Four years ago: Milk Punch
Five years ago: Pear Bread, Parmesan Cream Crackers and Walnut Pesto
Six years ago: Pizza with Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Onions
Seven years ago: Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese and Caramel Cake
Eight years ago: Gougeres and Stuffed Mushrooms, Russian Tea Cakes and Coq au Vin

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Cherry Almond Dutch Baby
1.5 Years Ago: Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw
2.5 Years Ago: Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime and Mint
3.5 Years Ago: Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes

Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini

I couldn’t resist using a pretty mix of olives and grapes, but, honestly, my favorite combination to use here are purple grapes and kalamata olives, seedless and pitted, respectively are ideal. I make it with fresh rosemary and ricotta, but other herbs and cheese would work here, such as thyme or blue cheese. The only pesky part of this recipe is that I find that the roasting time really varies. What you’re looking for is for the grapes to soften and get leaky — this can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on how firm/juicy your grapes are (softer ones take less time). I have also seen many references to grapes roasting and bursting in 10 minutes in other recipes, but have never experienced this in my oven. Once these juices muddle with the herbs and briny roasted olives, it’s all unquestionably worth it. Don’t forget to spoon any messy pan juices over the toasts.

Yield: 12 crostini, a very small batch. I usually double this for a small party.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grapes, seedless purple ones are my first choice, all will work
1 cup olives, pitted kalamata are my first choice, all will work
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, divided
Sea salt and red pepper flakes
About 12 baguette slices, toasted
3/4 cup ricotta

Heat oven to 400°F (205°C). Combine olive oil, grapes, olives, 1 teaspoon rosemary, a couple pinches of sea salt and pepper flakes in a baking dish or roasting pan. Roast until grapes are wilted and leaking juices, about 35 to 55 minutes, rolling ingredients around in pan a few times throughout roasting time to encourage even cooking.

Slather each toast with ricotta, then heap each with grapes, olives and their pan juices. Finish with remaining rosemary and eat immediately.

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118 comments on roasted grape and olive crostini

  1. Both roasted grape and pickled grape crostini are among my favorites — and imagine the addition of olives only make it better. And perfect timing — I love the Spanish tradition of the 12 grapes at midnight (which never quite happens at our house) but like grapes on the menu nonetheless!

  2. Erica

    How would these be if not served hot? I’m trying to find a good appetizer that I can bring to a NYE party that does not need to be reheated!

  3. Catherine

    These look fabulous Deb! I’m curious what variety the green olives are in your photos? They seem very green raw, but look like regular green olives once they’re roasted down. Can’t wait to make these for our next wine tasting party :)

  4. JP

    Looks just right for a New Year’s treat (I, too, am a sucker for anything on toast!) and by the way, speaking of “the best ingredients”, what is this about shallots? Every recipe these days, it seems, calls for shallots like I just happen to have these in my fridge…what happened to onions? I must admit to some guilt about substituting all the time, but the price of shallots is silly. I can get onions here for 39 cents a pound. I guess my palate is just not sensitive enough to note the huge difference. sheesh.

  5. Wendy

    Delicious! For a while, I’ve been mildly addicted to the Fig & Olive tapenade from Food52. I like your vision of grapes. Perfect for a New Year’s nosh!

  6. Mary

    An olive vendor at my local market often sells kalamatas with a tinge of orange zest … do you think that would blend with the grapes too?

  7. KatieK

    This reminds me of the wonderful Harvest Roast Chicken in your cookbook, one of my favorite chicken dishes ever. For whatever reason ricotta cheese makes me gag, so I’ll use cream cheese instead.

  8. This looks fantastic and is going to help me solve a problem for a party tomorrow night. Since you posted a link to the artichoke and olive crostini, I have a question about that one. Do you think one could begin with frozen artichokes instead of canned? Thanks.

  9. Katy

    Yes! Deb, you read my mind. I always thought the roasted grapes and olives were the best part of the chicken from your cookbook–we always scoop them onto our leftover sandwiches (with a little schmear of maille mustard, if you were wondering). Long I have I toyed with the idea of making just the olives and grapes alone. Thanks for being one step ahead of me!

  10. Susan

    You know what this brought to (my) mind?…the sauce for Chicken Marbella. It uses prunes and green olives but the combination is similar enough (sweet and salty) to make me think that I know that this will be a good pairing. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks, Deb.

  11. deb

    Mary — Yes, I think that could be a good flavor here, too.

    JP — What do you pay for shallots? I can get them pretty easily, and buy them one at a time so they’re not a big investment but it’s helpful for me to know if most people feel they’re too rich for their blood. I love them, personally, but in most cases, minced mild white onion can be substituted.

    Catherine — They were big, pitted cerignola olives. They do tend to have a very pretty green color, and are pretty firm; I find that they often taste more vegetal and less salty than other varieties. They’re not, however, the best for this dish, not juicy enough, I just couldn’t resist the pretty color.

    Erica — I think they’re definitely best warm. Any way you can even microwave the cooked topping to rewarm it at the party before serving? Or, just take them out when they’re hot and wrap them well. They should stay warm for an hour, I’d guess.

    Cate — I’d never heard of that 12 grapes tradition. I like it!

  12. JP

    Shallots, here in CA, run about three dollars a pound (nearly 10x the price of onions!), and while you are correct that you can probably buy them in certain places by the shallot, they are not commonly found in my fridge, at least. It is interesting to me how suddenly they are called for in every recipe that used to call for onions, as I mentioned above. I just have never felt that they made a big difference in a recipe, unless, of course, they are the main ingredient. Yes, I substitute onion without a problem. Thanks for listening to my shallot rant! :)

  13. Kimberly

    Olives are one of the few foods I’m just not a fan of. That being said, Smitten Kitchen referencing 40’s in pretty much any context made me smile.

  14. Nicole F

    Deb – what’s your ideal full New Year menu this year? For a family/friends dinner party that was just thrown together.. I want to build a SK-only menu!

  15. revjackie

    ummmm. . .cannot wait until New Year’s Eve – just the two of us, some 50s ballads (hey, we’re in our 8th decade). . .and now something ‘on toast’! Happy New Year from Middle Tennessee ~

  16. Dahlink

    Roasting grapes is now officially a thing. We made roasted cauliflower with red grapes earlier this week–two things I never would have thought of combining! Delicious.

    JP, my sister calls shallots my “signature ingredient.” First of all, I never keep them in the refrigerator. I usually have half a dozen here on the kitchen counter, waiting to be used. We find the flavor much more aromatic and subtle than ordinary onions–and you never need a large quantity, except in our family Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, which calls for one cup, minced!

  17. kiwijen

    This will be cheering up a wintery NYE in Scotland. Teamed with some bubbles and the hubby. Perfect! Ps made your mom’s apple cake to feed a crowd over Christmas. Rave reviews!

  18. Peg

    Hi, Deb. Per Erica’s question regarding if these can be served room temp….People are always asking me what they can bring as an appetizer to parties that doesn’t need to be warm and can travel well. It’s a quandary I have myself. Other than crostini, (and obviously not this one) do you have any genius suggestions in this area? Thanks and happy new year!

    1. deb

      Hi Peg — Here are my votes for party appetizers that can be served cold or at least room temperature:

      Cheese Straws, Goldfish Crackers or Parmesan Cream Crackers
      Crisp Rosemary Flatbread (hideous photo but seriously wonderful recipe)
      Ethereally Smooth Hummus with pita chips
      Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
      Plus all of the dips and spreads in the first paragraph, with crackers

      Nicole — I was thinking about posting about this. For dinner parties, I really like to 1) keep it simple, classic, usually comfort foods and 2) do every single thing in advance that can be done, so I have the best chance of actually enjoying the party too! So, for winter, I’d say spaghetti and meatballs (, you only need to make the spaghetti at the last minute), any lasagna ( or, can assemble it a day or two in advance, keep in fridge, and bake it just as people arrive as it doesn’t take long) or pot pies ( or…/pancetta-white-bean-and…/). A big old green salad (make the dressing and wash the greens up to two days in advance) and chocolate chip cookies ( or, which you can either have already scooped on trays in the fridge, or just scoop after dinner; people go bonkers for freshly-baked cookies) or chocolate pudding (, also can make at least a day in advance, serving with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings). If you wanted more of a posh/elegant affair, definitely the mushroom bourguignon (for vegetarians) or these short ribs, which also includes great recipes for greens, potatoes and a ridiculously good horseradish cream, i.e. a real finished dish! I’ve always liked this very easy to make but elegant tasting cauliflower soup for a dinner party appetizer. It’s even more amazing if you make your own chicken stock, but not a requirement.

  19. BCE

    I have been making something similar since Thanksgiving and it has been my go to through the holidays. I roast grapes, olives and chopped walnuts with a little olive oil and balsamic. Serve with endives to scoop. I love the idea of making toasts. Easier to eat!

  20. Wendy

    To JP, do you have any asian markets nearby, specifically Vietnamese markets? Shallots are usually sold there loose, by the pound at a significantly cheaper price than what I would pay in the grocery store.

  21. Hanna

    Hi Deb!
    Made these today, so good! Added a dash of cherry balsamic vinegar (my sister gifted me with a bottle and i’ve added some basically on everything i’ve eaten since xmas morning, i love it! (with vanilla ice cream HELLO!))
    Going to try them room temp tomorrow, i’m sure the NYE party we are attending will eat them with pleasure. Thanks for yet another awesome recipe!

  22. Brandiann

    Made this last night, without the ricotta, for a late-night party with vegan friends. I prepped the olives/grapes beforehand, threw the baking dish in the oven when they arrived, and 45 minutes later we were scooping up the tapanade with torn-off hunks of baguette. I doubled the recipe for four, but would triple it easily next time. I’m normally not an olive fan, but this was deliciously addictive!

  23. I made these last night and they were delicious. I second the idea that when using kalamatas go sparingly with the pinches of salt. I used ricotta, which was good, but it’s always just that little bit watery. I think next time I’ll use a nice smear of goat cheese or something a little drier, but the ricotta isn’t bad at all.

    Delicious. I made one recipe and my husband and I almost ate it all as an appetizer-dinner. We used a demi-baguette which meant smaller toasts, two-biters. Delish.

    For everyone commenting on their excitement over roasted grapes, I highly recommend the Summer Supper Tart in The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. We make it all the time. My husband and I spent our first anniversary in Chicago, and I had a pasta dish with roasted grapes that I couldn’t finish at Rose Angelis. It was so good I almost cried that I had no refrigerator to store the leftovers in.

  24. Grapes and olives, especially roasted in the oven, sound like a delicious combination. I love the sweet and salty together, particularly with the crisp bread and smooth ricotta as well. I am thinking maybe some nuts in there too could be good. Thanks for the idea! As someone else mentioned, maybe an accident but very fitting with the Spanish grapes at midnight tradition for NYE.

  25. Haha Deb, you cracked me up a couple times in this. The combinations here sounds ahmaaaazing. Mostly because I’ll eat anything with olives and then you added RICOTTA AND GRAPES. Thank you!

  26. Sara

    Made this tonight for dinner with goat cheese, kalamata olives and red grapes. Delicious! And a perfect way to use up leftover olives/grapes from our new favorite chicken recipe (cookbook roast chicken). Thank you for this gem!

  27. These look fabulous! They are so elegant and simple. They would make a great addition to a NYE spread. I’ll have to give these a try. The olive bar at Whole Foods is a bit of an addiction for me, so I can see myself having a lot of fun experimenting with this recipe.

  28. Ok, this is seriously a beautiful and unexpected flavor combination. The biggest problem I see is that I would absolutely eat these by myself (though this isn’t a problem for me, just the other party guests and my waistline…).

  29. Marne

    My olives and grapes were mismatched in size. The flavors mingled superbly, but I would roast the large grapes for around 10 minutes then add the olives and smaller grapes. Pine nuts would be a nice addition.

  30. Terri

    I made this last night for a party and it was amazing! I put some on ricotta and some on blue cheese, both were amazing. I love blue so I preferred that one but both were incredible. Your homemade ricotta is next!! Thank you so much for all your recipes, there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t try one. Oh, after I got home last night I tried your cocktail recipe but added hot water for a toddy, will definitely be doing that again when I have one of those miserable colds.

  31. Martin

    I made both of these last night – cookies and crostini. Easy, quick, delicious – I may be repeating the crostini for dinner tonight – and I just had a cookie for breakfast. thanks.

  32. Jo

    Made this last night for an informal New Year’s Eve party. I used kalamatas and red grapes and substituted thyme for rosemary, as it is still alive in my garden. I also used a softened goat cheese instead of ricotta and it was delicious. Everyone loved it, even folks who are not crazy for olives. The combination of the sweet grapes with the brininess of the olives is magical. My grapes were larger than my olives, so next time I’d start them roasting 15 minutes before the olives. Happy New Year from Michigan.

  33. elizabeth

    I made a triple batch of this for a New Year’s party last night and it was a hit! I do think serving warm is ideal, but I’m happy to report that everyone continued to rave about it long after it reached room temperature, and I MAY have just thoroughly enjoyed some of the (meager) leftovers straight from the fridge. Fabulous!

  34. Amanda W.

    We made this last night and it was fabulous. I actually found the ricotta unnecessary (and I never turn down cheese). This will be my go-to for parties! Thanks and happy new year!

  35. Amanda W.

    Oh, one more thing. I made it most of the way ahead of time, then added an additional splash of water (it had gotten very thick) and reheated at 400 for ~10 minutes. Worked great.

  36. Sarah

    Given that the related chicken dish from the cookbook is one of our favs, we made this last night and weren’t disappointed. I recommend chopping the grapes and olives post-roasting – you can return them to the dish to mix with the juices. It resulted in a beautifully colored saucy relish that was easy to dollop on the toasts and prevented the rolly polly problem that round things cause. Delicious!

  37. Jen Moore

    I made this for a New Year’s Day party and it was a huge hit and SO EASY! Thank you for the great recipes, as always! (It was with green grapes and Trader Joe’s olives — they worked perfectly.)

  38. Amelia

    Hi Deb, I usually don’t post – but I wanted to tell you that I made this for a NYE party and the whole batch (24) was gone in seconds. I used kalmata olives, red grapes and those super salty Moroccan black olives, on a GF baquette – which worked fine – and a local (Minneapolis, MN) spreadable goat cheese. And for the coups de gras I drizzled the finished crostinis with honey.

    I also made a jug of Fairy Tale of New York to go with. People were coming up to me the whole night asking about the recipes and so Smitten Kitchen was the hot topic of conversation and phone messaging.

    Thank you for the great, tasty, easy ideas – love your blog

  39. Jolene

    I surprised my husband with these last night. He was unsure about the taste, but once he put it in his mouth, he loved it! I used low-fat mozzarella, cut into thin slices, instead of ricotta (although I think there would have been more flavour if I used ricotta).

  40. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    This was the best thing I’ve eaten, perhaps ever. I made it with goat cheese instead of ricotta, but otherwise followed the recipe. Absolutely fantastic and my new favorite appetizer. And I can vouch that it tastes almost as good served cold…. since I ate leftovers the next day for breakfast. :)

  41. I love roasted grapes!! Discovered them once when I had too many grapes that needed to be consumed already. I sometimes also like to roast them with those little pearl onions :) This is definitely getting bookmarked for next time! Best wishes for 2015!

  42. I love both ingredients separately and now you made me very curious to try them together… will I manage to convince the Husband? Maybe I should use them as a base for some pork cutlets instead of topping crostini…. mumble mumble….

  43. Melanie

    This was one of the coolest things I have ever done! The ricotta is SO unlike anything in the store. And the roasted olive/grape combo was unreal! I am addicted!

  44. sillygirl

    I made this twice for us – used 3-pepper goat cheese instead of ricotta and untoasted 4-grain country bread – fantastic! My husband loved it!

  45. Kate

    Back to report that this was super delicious. We served it on New Years with some fancy ricotta. After saying how weird this combination was, our guests proceeded to go back for seconds and thirds.

    p.s. we roasted for the full amount of time for maximum smushiness.

  46. Fernanda

    I made these beauties as an appetiser pre dinner party and they were so good!! Perfectly balanced combination. Thank you!

  47. nikki

    I made these for New Years Eve and they were such a hit! I have actually been using the leftovers (can only fit so much on toast) on everything! I had them on top of pork New Years day, in a wrap with feta the next! So versatile but satisfying!

  48. Sarah

    This was by far the most mind-blowing appetizer for all of our NYE guests.
    Grapes and olives?! Oh yes, yes – amazing! Thanks for another great recipe, Smitten Kitchen!

  49. Monika

    I have a small pot of baked brie left over from a gathering and was thinking it might go really well with the grapes and olives, yes???

  50. MK

    I love shallots. I think they go for $3 or $4 a pound, but I have no trouble buying them one or two at a time, so it’s never a big expense. I don’t really consider them interchangeable with yellow onions.

    Has anyone substituted/do you think you could substitute feta for the ricotta?

  51. deb

    I don’t see why not. That said, the flavor that mingles between the grapes and olives is so delicious to me, I wouldn’t want to interrupt it with a sharper cheese.

  52. Maggie

    Just made these yesterday. They’re wonderful. I mixed some blue cheese crumbles in with the ricotta and used thyme instead of rosemary. So good. Thank you!

  53. Adelaide

    I added some small new potatoes chopped into a 1/2 inch dice and roasted them with the olives and grapes etc. for about an hour. I served this as side dish instead of a toast topping with great success! Thank you for your thoughtful flavor combinations:)

  54. Briana

    I made this for my guy. It was a hit. He is still talking about it a week later. We loved this recipe. We added roasted salmon and broccoli to make it a bigger meal. Delicious.

  55. Christine

    Chiming to say that I made this on NYE and we enjoyed it, but I have been eating the leftovers for breakfast on a bigger thicker slice of toast and enjoying it even more. The big hot toast with ricotta and something salty and sweet is terrific with coffee.

  56. Oh, Deb. Sometimes I wonder what would I do without your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Or as we say it here in Brasil, muito obrigada. The combination of grapes and olives is amazing – these crostinis made my day. =)

  57. jaime

    i’ve made several variations of this now…as is, as pizza twice – once with red sauce and once with ricotta, both yummy, and tomorrow i’m serving the grapes and olives at brunch with your cheese blintz recipe – can’t wait!

  58. Daria

    I have tried the recipe and it was amazing! I’d like to make it again tonight, but it is almost impossible to find grapes in Paris in June… Do you think it may work with cherries, too?

  59. Eclaire

    Made last night to rave reviews! With fresh rosemary from my garden and that salty sweet combo, I couldn’t get enough of the flavors! Making more crostini right now…getting ready for another batch!

  60. frizz

    Oh hey. I know you joke about having a “Things I Can Put on Toast” category.



    Can we have a “Things I Can Put on Toast” category?




  61. Celeste

    Thanks, Deb for another keeper! Made it for my family during a wine tasting party and boy did they love it! Can’t wait to make it again.