Appetite For Instruction: Brie With Red Grape Salsa

Demonstrated by Margie Hubbard

The best cooks aren't always professional chefs. Sometimes they're just regular people who like to prepare food and love to eat. Take Margie Hubbard for instance. As the author of Eating in Dallas, she's a banking specialist by day and influential food blogger by night...and early morning and a little bit on her lunch hour. And when it comes to cooking in her own Casa Linda-area kitchen, she turns out some surprisingly sophisticated stuff.

Margie's Brie with Red Grape Salsa and Toasted Walnuts, as the name would suggest, is a classic cheese and fruit combination. What you won't get from the name alone is that her clever recipe uses sweet and savory elements, along with a subtle hint of tang, to bring more flavor out of a wedge of brie than plain ol' apple slices ever could.

Add a few glasses of bubbly and you've got yourself a high-tone party. See there? You don't need to be a chef to impress your guests.

Step 1: Pulse one cup red seedless grapes in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Step 2: Transfer grapes to a bowl and add ¼ tsp. kosher salt, 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp. walnut oil, 1 small clove garlic (minced), 2 tbsp. fresh chives and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Margie "chops" her chives with kitchen scissors. Smart!

Step 3: Toast ½ cup chopped walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. (This step can be done ahead.)

Step 4: Spoon grape salsa over a wedge of brie, making sure to leave any accumulated liquid in the bowl. Scatter toasted walnuts over top. Great for entertaining bosses, local celebrities and dates who may be out of your league.

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Lisa Petty