Winter Salad with Roasted Grapes and Farro

roasted grape salad with farro Here’s a hearty winter salad that doesn’t include any pale wimpy tomatoes, it’s filled with delicious and nutty tasting farro, butternut squash, fresh spinach, honey goat cheese, pecans for crunch and my new favorite ingredient, roasted grapes!

roasted grapes Yes you heard me, roasted grapes, have you tried them yet? I have to admit this was the first time for me and I can’t believe what took me so long. My friend Stacey makes them all the time and has always said just how wonderful they are.

roasted grapes Just like when you roast vegetables the flavor gets much more enhanced, same here with the grapes, they take on a different taste and the flavor is elevated. The skin gets softer in the process and the insides are just bursting with sweet juice.

ingredients for roasted grape salad For this recipe I just roasted a whole container of seedless red grapes, a whole medium butternut squash and a whole package of farro, you’re going to have leftovers, but that’s a good thing. I like to freeze my leftover cooked farro for easy access to use in other recipes.

roasted grape salad with farro A simple, bright lemon and olive oil dressing brings all the flavors together nicely.

roasted grape chicken salad Another use for those leftover luscious roasted gems, toss them into a chicken salad like I did. I added spicy arugula, gorgonzola and toasted almonds drizzled with some of that lemon and olive oil dressing. Delish!

roasted grape crostini with ricotta Stacey suggested I try my roasted grapes on a crostini smeared with a little ricotta, and boy was she right. A drizzle of honey, crunchy toasted walnuts and fresh thyme took it over the edge!

roasted grape crostini with ricotta Go get a container of grapes right now and start roasting!

Winter Salad with Roasted Grapes and Farro
 
Ingredients
  • 1 container of seedless red grapes, rinsed and dried completely
  • 1 small or medium butternut squash, peeled, cut and diced small
  • 1 cup of cooked farro, or just make the whole package like I did and freeze leftovers. Cook according to package directions, then cool.
  • a good handful of fresh spinach
  • ½ log of honey goat cheese or regular, crumbled
  • a good handful of whole pecans or any nuts of your choice
  • fresh lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425, for the grapes spread them on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil and a little sea salt. I wanted my grapes to retain their shape so I only roasted them for about 15 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan just until I saw them start to slightly burst. If you want them to completely burst with the juice oozing out I would place them on parchment and cook them longer. Set aside to cool.
  2. Roast the diced butternut squash, on a separate baking sheet, same temp until golden. Let cool.
  3. Cook farro according to package and cool down.
  4. Assemble your salad on a platter with all the with all the ingredients including the spinach and crumbled goat cheese and nuts.
  5. Spoon the lemon and olive oil dressing all around.
  6. LEMON DRESSING
  7. 1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil
  8. add 1 grated garlic clove, salt and pepper and whisk

 

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Comments

  1. Stunningly beautiful salad Marie. I’ve never roasted a grape except maybe in a chicken recipe. If you and Stacey say they’re great, that’s good enough for me. I could eat this kind of salad everyday and be happy.
    Sam

  2. Marie, your salads look so fresh. Even though it’s freezing here in Virginia, and no doubt even colder where you are, I always welcome a good crunchy salad in winter. I’m going to roast some tonight for dinner and toss them with some crunchy beet and sunflower micro greens that I bought. Thanks to both you and Stacey for the inspiration.

  3. Preserved lemon is really good in this salad dressing (cut back on salt because the lemons are salty)
    I use it on kale salad, I can’t wait to try it on this salad!

  4. Yes, Stacey’s written about these roasted grapes and I still haven’t tried them. Seeing your beautiful,photos and hearing youreiterate what she says makes me crave some right now. That bruschetta in particular looks really tempting. Who needs mealy winter tomatoes when you’ve got these?

  5. This is one of those moments where I slap my forehead and say ” Why didn’t I think of that?!” Of course it makes absolute sense – roasting tomatoes brings out all of the good flavor so it should work with grapes. I am craving salads – must be a leftover from the heavier Christmas meals. Thank you for the idea – I am so anxious to try it. My mind is whirling with possibilities!!

    • That’s exactly how I felt too Marisa, slapping my forehead! let me know what you make with them.

  6. Great food blog! We have cooking schools in Tuscany and we invite food bloggers to place posts on our http://www.tuscookany.com/blog/ page.
    Salute e Buon Appetito The Tuscookany Team !

  7. I love farro, and this salad is perfect for winter. It’s colorful and with its many textures and bright citrus flavor it is just the thing to brighten up a chilly day. I love roasted grapes. The dry heat of the oven really concentrates the sugars and brings their flavor into tight focus. Kudos to you for moving into the new year with some serious “health value” to your offerings. All the best to you and yours in 2015!

  8. OK, so here is what I did last night. I had a container of beet and sunflower micro greens, so I used that as the salad greens. Added roasted grapes and crumbled some fresh goat cheese on top. I used the juice from the roasted grapes to make a mustard vinaigrette. My kids, who are not huge lovers of salad, scarfed it all up. Hooray!

    • Domenica, That sounds like a recipe you should put in a book! The vinaigrette sounds delicious what a great idea with that. I never buy micro greens, but now I’m inspired. Hooray on your kids scarfing it up!

  9. Hello Marie… visiting via Adri and Domenica… just wanted to say hello… and oh my, what a beautiful salad… I’d be delighted to present this in summer too. Happy cooking. I’ve signed up!

  10. Roxanne Fox says:

    If you like roasting everything that will stand still..I highly recommend a Staubs stovetop grill from Sur la Tab..I used to heat the oven lots of pans no grill browned extra flavor marks…the Staubs is an investment well worth the price. I grill EVERYTHING on it.

  11. Oops sorry I see now why you wouldn’t post my Staubs grill comment..you carry/sale your own srlection..no harm I didnt know..I sure enjoy my Staubs stovetop grill andvit intrnsifies the flsvor over ovens ( so large) maybe you will add this product since I see you sell le creuset also.

    • Roxanne, I haven’t tried the Staubs grill but I do have a stove top le creuset, I always roast such large quantities so the oven works good for me, but when winter is gone I mostly grill my veggies outside on my Weber. I do love Staub products though!

  12. Love this, Marie will be trying it soon.

  13. A friend recommended this beautiful site to me about a year ago. I’ve been making your recipes since then, but have never commented. Thank you! Count me in on the “slapping my head” crowd for never thinking about roasting grapes.

  14. Roasted grapes are my secret weapon.
    Always in season, and roasted grape ricotta crostini is my go to party appetizer………
    I make a quinoa salad w/ the squash, pecans and grapes, but I like your farro idea.
    Going to roast up some grapes today!
    xo

  15. I never thought of roasting grapes, but they look amazing made this way, Marie! I love farro and this is such an interesting combination. Kudos to Stacy!

  16. This looks absolutely delicious. Perfect for s new year. I love how green and fresh everything looks and of course your photos are beautiful. Super blog!

  17. Barb Casey says:

    Made this salad to accompany pizza over the weekend for my brother’s birthday. Everyone raved–it was outstanding. I will definitely roast grapes again! They were very sweet and flavorful.

  18. We are roasting every thing in sight right about now ….LOL! Will have to try adding grapes to the mix.

  19. I haven’t had time until now to tell you that I made this recipe. It is wonderful! I wish you could have seen the looks on my co-workers’ faces when I had leftovers for lunch the next day. This is a keeper. Thank you!