Roast Grapes, Rule at Life

Rachel Tepper Paley
May 23, 2014

Pork with roasted grapes. Photo credit: Rua Castilho/StockFood

Perhaps you once assumed that the crisper the grape, the better. Maybe you even stuck them in the freezer for hours to attain that desired firm texture.

Then, one fine day, roasted grapes waltzed into your life.

Yes, roasted grapes. After a spell in the oven, the tender fruit picks up a concentrated, complex sweetness that pairs beautifully with all sorts of ingredients. They match well with other light foods, such as salted ricotta and freshly-made focaccia, but they’re also a smart foil to a crudo of smoked king salmon and sturgeon caviar at Lincoln Ristorante in New York City, and to their Cornish hen roasted with shallots, thyme, and the grapes’ sticky juices.

Peel the grapes before roasting them, or don’t: It comes down your texture preferences. Fair warning: Unpeeled grapes start to burst after a few minutes in the oven, which as The Kitchn editor Faith Durand notes, makes them “look slightly like brains.”

No matter; they’re still delicious. (Besides, peeling grapes can be a time-consuming task.) Just make sure that your grapes are seedless. Otherwise, whatever you make will be the pits. (Get it?)

Roasted Grapes
Adapted from Food & Wine
Serves 8

2 cups red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the grapes and dry well. In a medium bowl, toss the grapes with olive olive, salt, and pepper. On a small rimmed baking sheet, distribute the grapes and roast for 10 minutes. Stir once, then bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. When most of the grapes have burst, scrape them into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, and serve.