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tree nut cheese, caramelized grape & pecan crostini

by Jackie Newgent  |  September 22, 2018  |  2 Comments

One of my first original food creations that I was so proud to show off as a kid was potato chip and bologna canapés. Yes, that’s little rounds of bologna on top of potato chips. As much as I’d like to say that the recipe stood the test of time, it’s definitely not part of my recipe repertoire anymore. But I still love making canapés. I created this plant-based, party-ready version one day out of edible odds and ends I had on hand … and it’s now one of my favorites. I prefer to call them crostini rather than canapés since it seems friendlier. I think my younger self would give this two thumbs up. Hope you enjoy its just-right (vegan) cheesiness, fruitiness, and nuttiness it as much as I do!

Note: The Recipe Redux theme for this month is “Kids that Cook.”

Disclosure: One of my current clients is The American Pecan Council. However, I was not paid to develop this recipe on their behalf. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

tree nut cheese, caramelized grape & pecan crostini

tree nut cheese, caramelized grape & pecan crostini

Yield: 12 canapés

Serving size: 2 canapés


  • 1 (4-ounce) whole grain submarine/hoagie roll
  • 1/4 cup soft tree nut cheese, such as Treeline Soft French-Style Scallion Cashew Cheese*
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 12 pecan halves
  • 18 to 20 large green or red seedless grapes (or mixture), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic or champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives



  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the roll crosswise into 12 slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted (no oil required), about 12 minutes. (Alternatively, toast the slices in a toaster in batches, 2 slices per toast slot.)
  2. Spread each warm toast with 1 teaspoon of the treenut cheese.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron or other stick-resistant skillet over medium-high. Add the pecans and cook while gently stirring until toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl.
  4. In the warm skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Carefully add the sliced grapes and sauté until caramelized (browned) as desired, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, carefully add the vinegar, and stir to coat.
  5. Top the toasts with the grapes, pecans, and chives. Serve.


Per serving: 130 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 105mg sodium, 13g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 4g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 4g protein

*For a non-vegan version, you can use soft goat cheese.



The “Before” Version

Compare to Crostini with Blue Cheese, Honey, and Hazelnuts



Tasteover Tips

  • Use whole grain instead of white bread for nuttier taste and texture
  • Try a vegan cheese to boost plant-based goodness
  • Choose your favorite tree nut topping, like pecans
  • Enjoy fruit, like grapes, instead of honey or other added sugar
tree nut cheese, caramelized grape & pecan crostini
tree nut cheese, caramelized grape & pecan crostini
american pecans -- the original supernut
american pecans — the original supernut




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