Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For Grape Me Not

Arugula Salad with Roasted Grape Dressing and Pear

Red seedless grapes have been on my mental shopping list lately, and their fate was to meet my oven. Yes, the smoldering, smoking oven that is mine. Well, it's finally kicked it's smoking habit, thank god! So now it's just the smoldering, hot-as-heck oven. It really only smoked that one time, ok two times, when we set off the smoke detector and heard the mysterious woman's voice call out "fire, fire". I never knew that smoke detectors could talk, or that ovens had smoking habits....

Getting back to the grapes. I have had two thoughts on what I wanted to do with grapes. The first idea came from hearing about roasting grapes, as I have been very curious to try them and see what the buzz was all about. So I got me some grapes. I woke up my beast of an oven and set her on to something like 400, laid out some grapes on a sheet pan, drizzled them with oil, and cut some fresh rosemary stems off of my now dying mixed-herb plant, and then we let the roasting begin. Within minutes I heard bubbling and popping, I ran over to check that they weren't going to completely explode and catch fire, ( my oven paranoia kicking in), and they were just fine. The grapes were just starting to burst, and it looked as though most of the skin actually cooks away. I took them out after about 15 minutes, and let them rest for a bit before we tried one.

Once they were cool enough to handle and pop open, I took my first bite. All I could say was "wow!". They were so incredibly flavorful, tangy, sweet, and almost creamy. It almost made the backs of my cheeks tingle because it was just so... wow!

I found a recipe online, here, that sounded like a yummy dish to incorporate my roasted grapes with, so I went ahead and roasted some sweet potatoes as well. And yes, even though this is really just a side dish, it was the perfect meal for me and the bf for a late dinner...

Roasted Grapes over Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Mash
The second idea that has been rolling and clunking around in my head is a grape puree of some sort. And just yesterday I remembered that I had about a cup of roasted grapes left over, so I set out to puree my roasted grape babies. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with this roasted grape liquid, because I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. But I decided to add some white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt, ground sage, and dijon mustard, and make a dressing out of it. Oh yes. Yum! I had some arugula in the fridge, and finally just today one of the pears I have had sitting on the counter for days now, is finally ripe and suitable for eating. So I made this beautiful salad for lunch today... Oh, and I finally brought out my good camera today, as you can tell by the quality of this snap...

Arugula Salad with Pear and Roasted Grape Dressing

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