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.


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).



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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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? 


  1. says

    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?!?!?!?!??!?!!?

  2. says

    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 😛

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. Amelia says

    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. :)

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. says

    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!

  9. says

    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!

    • Laura says

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

  10. says

    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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