Red Onion-Blue Cheese Spread

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped, roasted and skinned hazelnuts
1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 French bread baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (optional: for extra flavor and crunch, slices can be lightly toasted)
1 bunch sweet table grapes

In a small saucepan over medium heat, gently warm the olive oil with the onion, hazelnuts, olives and garlic. Keep mixture hot, but not simmering, and cook until onions are softened, for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to warm.

When ready to serve, place the blue cheese in center of an attractive platter, then pour warm oil mixture over cheese. Add the freshly ground pepper to taste. Arrange the baguette rounds and grapes on a separate platter and serve with spread.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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