Until recently, the idea of cooking grapes seemed absurd to me. But the incoming brisk weather had me thinking more about roasting foods, so I took a cue from the Tuscans, who use leftover grapes from wine production to make sublime dishes like Schiacciata con l’uva (focaccia with grapes).
For this recipe, I roast ordinary red and green seedless grapes at high heat for a short amount of time to intensify their sweet-tart flavor. The grapes lose a bit of their shape, but they become sweeter and juicier.
Toss with nutritious quinoa, nutty almonds and herbs, and wow, this salad is a winner!
Roasted Grape Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds
1 cup dry quinoa
1 pound green and red seedless grapes, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
3. Place the grapes on a rimmed sheet pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven until the grapes begin to shrivel and release juice, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and grapes. Let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Add the scallions, parsley and almonds to the quinoa mixture. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice from both halves into the mixture. Drizzle in the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
6. Serve at room temperature.
Photo Credit: Maria Shumova/Shutterstock.com