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
  • 1/2 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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My Top Ten Most Popular Recipes of 2014

top ten recipes of 2014 on Proud Italian Cook As 2014 comes to a close I want to thank you my dear readers for all your support throughout the year. All your comments, emails, Instagram and Facebook “likes”, pins, photos you sent me of recipes you made were so much appreciated!

Wishing you all good health, happiness, and success in the coming year, and more good food.  Happy New Year!

And now a walk down memory lane with some of my most popular posts of 2014.

chicken cacciatore 1. Chicken Cacciatore

Hearty, rustic, family style comfort food, a classic Italian dish. When it’s cold outside I crave this and so do many of you!

colored cauliflower frittata 2. Colored Cauliflower Frittata with Red Peppers, Onions and Brie

The combination of flavors here work together so well, and in my opinion, the Brie takes it over the top!

paella, Italian style 3. Paella, with an Italian Twist

A fun twist on traditional paella adding Italian sausage, broccolini and roasted red pepper puree.

cedar planked shrimp 4. Cedar Planked Shrimp with Parsley Pesto Sauce

Everything tastes better on a plank, it’s an aromatic infusion of flavor!

zucchini noodles with tomato cream sauce 5. Zucchini Noodles with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream

Zucchini noodles are all the rage and I’m hooked on my Spiralizer. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, I encourage you to do so, one of my favorites.

tomato tart with brown rice crust 6. Tomato Tart with Brown Rice Crust

This recipe has been so popular and it’s because of the brown rice crust, it’s crispy, chewy and holds the filling together just like pastry, but it’s totally gluten free!

butternut squash noodles with sausage and kale 7. Butternut Squash Noodles with Sausage, Mushrooms and Kale

Many of you wrote me and said you didn’t miss the pasta at all, honestly, neither did I.

 

pot roast, Italian style 8. Slow Braised Beef Pot Roast, Italian Style

There’s something about a slow braise in the oven on a cold and frigid day, and apparently I’m not alone.

butternut squash lasagna roll ups 9. Butternut Squash lasagna Roll Ups

Easy entertaining, individual portions, creamy and delicious!

big and bold meatball 10. Big and Bold Meatball

It’s a big meatball with a dollop of ricotta on top and some crusty bread to soak up the sauce, I’m so glad you liked it!

See you in 2015!

 

 

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From My Home to Yours…

crab stuffed shrimp with champagne cream sauce

 

 

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