Sunday, July 14, 2013

Balsamic Roasted Grapes

Have you ever found yourself with some leftover grapes?

Grapes are lovely, and I do enjoy them, especially chilled on a hot-ish day, or after an especially rich dinner.  They are also excellent each meticulously sliced in half and piled on top of good Greek yogurt with just a drizzle of honey.  They are perfect to tuck into little lunch-boxes (for which I still meticulously slice each in half to avoid choking – don’t judge).

But sometimes I buy too big a bunch, and other fruits jockey for my attentions (hello mangoes), that I find a sulking half-finished batch of grapes sitting forlornly in my fridge.

What to do?

When I have fruits that need using up, I usually make a small batch of refrigerator jam, syrup, or compote***.  Just throw what you have left, roughly chopped (or not), in a small pot with some sugar and stew until jammy. I thought to do the same with my grapes until I discovered that most grape jam recipes call for you to peel the grapes.  Peel the grapes?  Ok, if that’s the way it must be done then so be it.  But I have a baby, a toddler, a job, and a household to run, and perhaps a more organized woman could manage it, but I am not that together.  So unfortunately, those grapes were not getting peeled.

And then I saw this.  And I knew there was a divine reason that I was too lazy to peel those grapes.

The recipe below is not much of a recipe at all.  More like a prescription of what to do if you, like me, find yourself with some straggling grapes that need using up.  Or if you are having any incarnation of roast or pan-fried pork – in which case go out and buy some grapes because this goes stupendously with pork.

Balsamic Roasted Grapes
(adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen)
  • Whatever grapes you have on hand, or go out and buy a bunch…it'll be worth it.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
- Place the grapes in a roasting pan or sheet pan where they can all fit in one layer.
- Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast in a pre-heated 400F oven for 15-30 minutes, depending on how soft you’d like them, tossing them around once or twice during the cooking time.  I like them as you see them here, slightly collapsed with their skins wrinkled and just burst in parts.

I can’t tell you how much I love this or how much I now want to make it again.  It’s the sort of thing you find excuses to make because it’s that good, and also, that easy.  You can have it in more ways than I can think of at the moment.  The first to my mind though was with cheese, and indeed it is a match made in heaven.  I’ve piled it here on some French sourdough toasts with crumbled chunks of kesong puti (our local fresh white cheese) that had been marinated in herbs and oil.  This was amazing already on its own, and enough reason to roast some grapes, but I am sure this would also get on famously with your next cheese platter.  Like I mentioned, this also makes an excellent condiment for pork in general, whether with roast pork, a side for fried pork chops, or stuffed into your next ham sandwich.

Next time, I’m going to try for a sweet version – roasting it with some sugar instead of salt.  I imagine this would be wonderful scooped generously on pancakes or to give store-bought pound cake a delicious and sophisticated edge.

 So, just wanted to share this with you because some things are just too good to keep to one’s self, and because it’s the weekend, and because I love all of you that keep coming back!

***Unless it’s bananas, which I remove from their skins and store in the freezer for future banana breads.


Junglefrog said...

Seriously? People would peel grapes? That would be such a horrible job... Hahaha... I already find it a lot of work to remove the pits from cherries... :) But I love the idea of these roasted grapes!!! I am so gonna try that next.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks really good! A wonderful idea. I never peel grapes. That must take hours and I'm not patient enough! ;-)



Shalum said...

Wow! Something to do with those last few ones! Thanks for sharing! Looks good!

Midge said...

Goodness, Joey! This is the sort of thing I'd imagine would taste incredibly fantastic on toasted sourdough!

The Neverending Stomach said...

I love this idea! I'm always wasting a sad bag of grapes and throwing them away, which I hate. I would love to turn this into a sort of sandwich spread perhaps?

BettyAnn @Mango_Queen said...

Oh my terrific idea! How you found the time to do this masterpiece inspite of being so busy with the little ones is beyond me. But great post! Can't wait to try. Hope all is sunny and bright in your world. Miss you. Hugs :-)

meigancam said...

Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

Katie Zeller said...

I was only curious until I saw the Balsamic... Now I'm hooked. We have so much fruit this time of year!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Simone! Pretty much all the grape jam recipes called for peeling them so I was scared to try it without peeling! But these roasted ones more than made up for that ;)

Hi Rosa! I am nowhere near industrious enough to do that! Heehee :)

Hi Shalum! It is really good! Try it! :)

Hi Midge! Definitely! And so easy to make!

Hi Neverending Stomach! I hate that too...that's why I love finding recipes like these :) This would definitely be great in sandwiches!

Hi BettyAnn! Thanks!! But my posting definitely has slowed down since the little one's's a sunny day today, hope it's likewise where you are!

Hi Meigan! Thank you :)

Hi Katie! Lucky you to have a surplus of fruit! Try this with some grapes...delicious and goes with so many things :)

Sue said...

Oh oh! Sad bag of grapes in the refrigerator that I eyed at breakfast. I was going to feed them to the chickens but his sounds like a much better idea! I know you are all going to think I'm weird, but I think I'm going to put in on oatmeal tomorrow morning. Yum!!

Anh said...

Oh this is such a great idea! I *know* I will love them!

Chris said...

Roasting is my favorite way of cooking any vegetable, and I just discovered the magic of roasted grapes. This whole recipe sounds amazing!