Like most of us right now, we’ve been limiting our trips to the grocery store and working hard to use what we have. That has required a little creativity and trying some new things. I have to admit, even someone who cooks a lot sometimes needs a little kick in the butt to get out of her rut.
I don’t know about you but this virus has given me quite the kick! I’ve learned how to make a sourdough starter (if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some of that), have made my own crackers, baked countless biscotti, frozen lots of leftovers, and found endless ways to use fresh produce so it doesn’t go to waste.
I bought a lot of fresh produce the last time I was at the store, including a big bag of red and green seedless grapes. But grapes only last so long and after a week, they really were starting to look a bit tired. Not wanting to waste them, I decided to try roasting them and came up with this roasted grape salad that worked perfectly alongside my roasted chicken.
How to Roast Grapes
I’ve grilled fruit, like pineapple, which intensified the sweetness and added a delicious caramelized flavor but I had never tried roasting fruit. I have to say, I didn’t know what I was missing!
Start by washing them well and then dry them so the oil would cling better. You can rub them lightly with a paper or clean cloth towel, or do this earlier in the day and let them air-dry.
Then, toss them into a roasting pan with some olive oil and dried thyme. It’s important to really toss them well to make sure the grapes are coated lightly with oil.
Then, place them in the middle of a preheated oven and roasted them for a good 20 minutes at 425°F. If they are large grapes it may take up to 30 minutes.
Once they are bright and glossy, maybe a little browned and a bit shriveled, they are perfect! That little bit of brown caramelization really brings the sweetness of the grapes out!
Why You Should Try Roasting Grapes
Roasting brings out the gorgeous, deep purple and yellow color of the grapes, and an incredibly intense flavor. They are sweet but also a bit sour and savory. Roasted grapes pair perfectly with couscous, goat cheese, and pistachios in this roasted grape and goat cheese couscous salad.
These last few weeks our efforts of social distancing and limiting trips to the grocery store has made me pay even more attention to using what I have and being more creative in the kitchen.
I know I’ve gained some tricks that I’ll continue after all this craziness is over. How about you? Have you found yourself finding creative ways to use some of the food you have rather than risk another trip to the grocery store?
What is your favorite new kitchen trick or recipe you’ve learned recently?
Other Recipes You Might Love
If you liked this salad, here are a few other salad recipes and an appetizer recipe you might enjoy!
- Zesty Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds
- Rice Stuffing for Thanksgiving
- Roasted Grape and Mascarpone Crostini
Roasted Grape Salad
- 1 sheet pan or roasting pan for the grapes
- 1 Saucepan for the couscous
- 1 serving bowl
- 2 cups grapes red or green
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups couscous cooked
- 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Roast the Grapes
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wash grapes and place them in a large roasting pan or on a sheet pan. Toss them with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and thyme. Place the pan in the middle of the preheated oven and roast for 20- 30 minutes, tossing after 10 minutes. The grapes should be softened, bursting slightly and just a little browned.
Cook the Couscous
- Meanwhile, cook the couscous in water or broth. (You'll use about 1 cup of dry couscous and 1-1/4 cups of water or broth). Bring the water or broth to a boil, add the couscous, and stir. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit for 10 – 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork when done. Gently stir in 2 Tbsp. of the remaining olive oil and place it in a large serving bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
Make the Salad
- When grapes are done, toss the grapes along with the juice from the pan into the couscous and mix together well. (The juice adds a nice sweet and tart flavor to the salad so you won't need any other dressing.)
- Add goat cheese and pistachios and toss together. Serve warm, or place in the refrigerator, covered until ready to serve.