Brie, Roasted Grapes and Pickled Cucumber Toastie

Molten, creamy Brie cheese with wafer-thin slivers of pickled cucumber and sweet succulent roasted grapes is a magical combination. I like it between slices cut from a country-style loaf, the outer sides of the sandwich buttered so they crisp and turn golden if the sandwich is going to be made in a toasted sandwich maker. Any variety of grape suits being roasted but for this sandwich they must be pitted. I chose black and flame varieties for the drama of their colour against the white cheese. Once roasted, they can be kept in a poly box or jar in the fridge for a few days; large grapes could be halved, pips removed after roasting. 

Makes 2 sandwiches

pickled cucumber:
½ cucumber
½ tsp white sugar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

roasted grapes:
500g pitted black or flame grapes
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

250g ripe brie
4 slices sourdough or similar country-style bread

Start with the pickled cucumber. Slice unpeeled wafer-thin. Spread out in a mixing bowl, on a large plate or tray and dust with 1 tbsp salt. Leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and squeeze dry in a clean t towel or sheets of kitchen paper. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in the mixing bowl. Stir the wilted cu into the vinegar then transfer to a jam jar. Chill until required. Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Spread the grapes in a small foil-lined roasting tin and splash with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast for 10 minutes, shake the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft but not shriveled. Leave to cool. Use immediately or tip into a jar/poly box and chill. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay slices of skin-trimmed Brie on two of the unbuttered slices, top with slices of cucumber and then with grapes. Cover with the buttered sides of bread outermost and finish in a toasted sandwich machine. Alternatively, and this is what I did, toast the bread, and layer up the sandwich as described. Whether you butter the toast is up to you.