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.)
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.
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 and Kabocha Kale Salad
- Fresh rosemary
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Kabocha squash (or other winter squash)
- Shallot, diced
- Olive oil
- 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.
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?