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Jan 03

Strange But Good: Roasted Grape & Kabocha Kale Salad

Luck and wealth are good things to start 2014 with.

 

We certainly ate like lucky wealthy people on New Years Eve.

This salad would be good at any time, but it’s ingredients make it especially good for NYE.  Grapes for luck and greens for wealth.  We also had the black-eyed pea hummus.  This year should be extra lucky!

The part that may be strange is that I roasted the grapes in this salad.  You know how blueberries warmed from oatmeal burst in your mouth?  How decadent and sweet and juicy they are?  Roasted grapes are like that, but better because they’re bigger.  (Insert dirty joke here.)  

Roasted Grape & Kabocha Kale Salad

 

When roasted, grapes become even more delicious.  Their sugars caramelize a bit, the skin softens, and the native sweetness shines. The thick, savory balsamic and rosemary balances the sweetness perfectly.   Make this once and you’ll never be satisfied with dried fruit on a salad again.

The thick, jammy juice that forms during roasting is the perfect thing to use as a dressing.  Combined with olive oil, vinegar, and garlic, it makes a fabulous warm coat for the kale.

Roasted Grape & Kabocha Kale Salad

Salads are so easy to make larger or smaller, so below is hardly a recipe.  There are no measurements for anything besides the dressing.  Even that is just equal parts oil and vinegar, so you can adjust that up or down to suit your needs.

You don’t even have to bother with the salad if you aren’t feeling it.  Just pop some grapes in the oven and you’ll have a simple, decadent snack in 15 mins or less.

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Roasted Grape & Kabocha Kale Salad

Roasted Grape and Kabocha Kale Salad

  • Grapes
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Kabocha squash (or other winter squash)
  • Shallot, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Kale
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C champagne vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Reserved juices from roasted grapes
  • Salt & pepper, to toast
  • Grated Parmesan (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 450.

Toss grapes on a foil lined pan with vinegar and rosemary.  On a second pan, toss kabocha with shallots and a bit of olive oil.  Roast each for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.  The skin of the grapes should be slightly crisp but the inside still soft.  Note: the kabocha may take longer.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Strain excess grape juice into a small bowl to reserve for dressing.

Add oil to small skillet and allow to warm over med heat.  Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min).  Stir in grape juices and champagne vinegar, cooking 2-3 mins longer to allow dressing to thicken a bit.  

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Taste, adding salt and pepper to preference.

Place kale in large salad bowl.  Pour warm dressing over the kale and massage the greens to soften.  Add grapes, kabocha, and fresh parmesan (if using).

Enjoy!

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

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Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

I'm thinking I need to do these for breakfast on a biscuit or coffee cake thing...

What is your favorite salad topping?

Have you ever had roasted grapes? 

 

56 comments

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  1. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    YUM! I have never roasted grapes but I’m totally intrigued by the idea and it sounds like it would be delicious. That salad looks amazing.

    1. Laura

      Thanks! You have to try it – they really are awesome.

  2. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    This don’t sound strange – Dis sound good. what sound strange now is the way I typing. Like a 5 year old or like someone who do not go to school.

    Okay, I’ll stop because typing like that is actually really difficult and I am a huge grammar NAZI so I am trying not to go back up there and edit it! LOL! Stick a few grapes in my mouth. Have you ever tried those cottoncandy grapes?!?!?!?!??!?!!?

    1. Laura

      This brings me back to the time I read Room. It wasn’t pleasant.

  3. Mitchell

    I’m skeptical, but the line ‘thick jammy juice’ has me too intrigued not to try this one out! I’m already on the fence about strawberries and mandarins being used in salads, but I will have to conquer this fear … one sweet fruit at a time :P

    1. Laura

      I do not endorse mandarins!

  4. Lucie@FitSwissChick

    Roasted grapes??? Sounds perfect!! Kabocha is gone here unfortunately. The season is always,over waaaayyyy too soon!!

  5. Cat

    I’m on a big roasting kick right now but grapes hadn’t even crossed my mind! Genius, as always!

  6. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    I liked warmed grapes so I’m sure I’d love roasted. I have all the ingredients to make this tonight. Can’t wait for the bursting. haha!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! Let me know if you do try it!

  7. lindsay

    i’ve roasted grapes! and kiwi! quite delightful. Now i should add squash, good call brother!

    1. Laura

      Kiwi?! Gotta try that one next!

  8. Kierston @candyfit

    I’ve never had roasted grapes in a salad, but I have had roasted grapes before.

    I love goat cheese and roasted pecans in a salad.

    Happy New Year my friend xo

    1. Laura

      Goat cheese is the best! Or blue cheese. Or any cheese, really. :)

      Happy New Year to you too!!

  9. Jody - Fit at 56

    That looks & sounds absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!! Lazy me may just roast the grapes.. :)

  10. Fran@BCDC

    This sounds so good! I’ve never had the kabocha squash. I never see it around here. Roasted grapes sound tasty though. Have a great day, Laura!

  11. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I’ve never had roasted grapes, but now you have me really intrigued by the idea! Favourite salad toppings: goat chevre or feta, roasted sweet potato, and blueberries or sliced strawberries

  12. Alex @ therunwithin

    I have been roasting kabocha lately (because I smuggled it from home when I was there for break) and man I forgot how much i love that stuff!

  13. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I have yet to roast grapes but have always been intrigued by doing so. I have some leftover from NYE so I may roast them this weekend.

    1. Laura

      Did you try it? I bet you’d love them!

      1. Heather (Where's the Beach)

        I ended up getting super sick and totally forgot (have not been cooking). I do still have some so I should try this! Thanks for the reminder ;-)

        1. Laura

          Oh no!!! I just caught up on your blog. Hope you’re feeling better this morning!

  14. Linz @ Itz Linz

    i really like the idea of roasted grapes – must try!

  15. Debra

    OK–Black eyed pea hummus was a hit here. (I used raw garlic and it was still delish)! Thanks for making our New Year’s Day! I don’t think this comb is all that strange. It sounds delicious actually.

    1. Laura

      I am so glad you liked it! Thank you for trying it, and for letting me know how it was received. :)

  16. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    I roasted grapes and put them on a sweet/savory grilled pb & j one time and they were SO good. You have no reminded me that I need to do that again soon.

    1. Laura

      Whoa… that is a great idea!!! Next time.

  17. Hannah

    Look, I’m just going to say it: Bigger isn’t always better. ;)

    (But I do love kabocha. And you.)

    1. Laura

      I’m not going to touch that one… ;)

      1. Hannah

        That’s what she said.

        1. Laura

          I <3 you.

  18. Yasmeen

    I’ve never seen or heard or thought of roasted grapes before but damn, you do know how to make them sound good. This ‘recipe’ sounds delicious!

    1. Laura

      LOL! Thank you. :)

  19. Amelia

    Delicious! I can’t seem to get enough kabocha squash lately. I need to buy a few to store in my fridge to last me through the winter months since I know they will be gone soon. I bet the grapes are wonderful with this combination. I have been eating kabocha baked then broiled with a little parm on top as well as for ‘dessert’ with almond butter & maple syrup. :)

    1. Laura

      I never thought to keep them in the fridge… I’ll have to stock up as well! Thanks. :)

  20. Kaila @healthyhelperblog!

    Oh my….so many of my favorites in one dish! I have yet to try roasted grapes yet but seeing as I love them on their own, frozen, or in pretty much anything else, I am sure I’d love them! Plus, this salad has kabocha…so it automatically is a winner.

  21. purelytwins

    we have never been fans of fruit in our salads, but this sounds pretty good!

  22. Kim

    This salad looks amazing!! Glad I haven’t made my grocery list yet because I need to add these ingredients!!

    1. Laura

      Thanks! Please let me know what you think. :)

  23. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    Ok, this is one of the few recipes I don’t want to eat – I’m just not a fan of grapes. The texture is weird and it creep me out. :)

    1. Laura

      Whaaaaat?! But they go so well with wine… ;)

  24. Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate

    Three of my favorite foods in one salad? Yes, please!

  25. Emily

    Oh my goodness, YUM!!!! And the way you described it made it seem even more delicious!!!

  26. Amusingly Quirky

    I have never tried roasted grapes before but this foodie is willing to give it a try. Adding these ingredients to my shopping list so I can give this a whirl.

    1. Laura

      Thanks! Let me know if you do try it – they would be good on just about anything.

  27. Mary @ Fit and Fed

    I’ve got to try roasted grapes, they’ve been on my list to try for a while! I like your idea of saving the juice from the roasted grapes for the dressing.

    1. Laura

      You must try it – they are absolutely decadent. :)

  28. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    I don’t even know where to begin. I think you should make it a mission to roast every fruit and vegetable out there. You got me onto roasted bok choy so this…. I have no doubts whatsoever. Especially since bigger is better.

    1. Laura

      You don’t have to tell me twice! Go big or go home!

  29. Laura @ This is Thirty

    Love your flavor combinations! Looks delicious and the perfect combination of sweet and savory!

  30. Nicole @ FruitnFitness

    I don’t think I have ever tried roasted grapes before, but now I want to! This entire salad sounds good, I mean anything with kabocha is a winner.

    1. Laura

      anything with kabocha is a winner. < — TRUTH :)

  31. Megan (The Lyons' Share)

    Yum!!! Have never thought about roasting grapes, but I love the little “pop” of roasted cherry tomatoes, so I imagine it would be similar! Leave it to you to be so creative. I haven’t seen kabocha in a while, but I’m sure I’ll be able to hunt some down!

  32. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    I’ve never thought to roast grapes, but I love this idea. I also really like this salad and all the components (the Parmesan is not optional), and I think I would add toasted pistachios to it or some type of nut (no surprise there). This is a keeper!

    1. Laura

      Funny you should mention it… this was supposed to have toasted walnuts on it. Some jackass (me) toasted the crap out of them though.

  33. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Roasted grapes > raw grapes! Seriously, I can’t believe it took me until just last year to discover the deliciousness of roasted grapes…or really to experiment with roasting in general. Cabbage…apples…so many things I never thought of throwing in the oven before! The boost of natural sweetness is perfect! And I love the idea of using the juice from the grapes to make a dressing for this salad…I bet it was fantastic with the kabocha!

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