We are deep in the throes of moving right now. The bookshelves are bare, the closet almost empty and the kitchen half packed.
Fortunately, it is a much less stressful experience than our previous move just three months ago.
For one thing, we never finished unpacking the last time and so a lot of our belongings are still boxed up and ready to go. For another, we don’t have to figure out how to get three cats, two cars and a baby halfway across the country with our sanity intact. Across town is infinitely easier — at least that’s what I’m hoping.
If you know otherwise, now would be a good time to keep it to yourself.
How other people churn out beautiful food mid-move is beyond me. We are down to the basics around here. Leftovers, odds and ends, dinners that use up vegetable remnants and cookies that can be made with just a bowl and a wooden spoon.
These roasted muscadines fit the bill. They are dead simple to make, dirty hardly any dishes and we have eaten them twice already in about the past week.
Three times if you count the lunch when I first ate them — a hurried meal that involved juggling a squirmy 1-year-old and a loaded paper plate at a crowded self-serve salad bar.
That lunch was nothing more than a quick pit stop on the way home from a visit to the new house. We have been making regular appearances to light a fire under the painters who are (slowly) transforming the interior of our new home from something dingy to something clean and bright.
I absentmindedly scooped some roasted grapes off the salad bar that afternoon as part of my general approach to dining out these days, which is to try a little bit of everything tender enough for someone with just seven teeth to manage and hope for the best.
Then I proceeded to eat all of them myself, completely forgetting to share them with the baby. Sorry baby, you missed out on something good.
Those grapes were kind of a revelation, as far as grapes go: soft and sweet and still, somehow, a little bit savory. I knew immediately that I’d be recreating them at home.
My version uses organic, purple-black muscadines, a type of grape native to the South with thick, tart skin and sweet flesh. Roasting softened the grapes tough skin but didn’t do much to mellow the taste. The result is tangy and full-flavored.
We’ve been eating them alongside rich, creamy polenta laden with gorgonzola for which the grapes are the perfect foil. I think they’d also make an unexpected accompaniment to a cheese plate and I have a hunch they might pair well with this ricotta ice cream too.
These roasted grapes are so good and outrageously easy to make. I know we’ll be eating them again and again.
I’ve even started daydreaming about growing muscadines in our new backyard, just so I can have a ready supply. But first, I have to make sure the painters finish before the movers arrive.
Inspired by the roasted grapes at Lovey's Market. I love the tart-sweet flavor of muscadines in this recipe but run of the mill grocery store grapes will work fine. The end result will be more sweet, less tart, and still delicious. Muscadine seeds are easy to remove but if you use other grapes a seedless variety would be best.
- 1 pound (about 4 cups) muscadine or other grapes (see headnote)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 3"-4" sprigs of fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Select a baking dish or rimmed sheet pan that is large enough to hold all of the grapes in a single layer. Line it with parchment paper and set aside.
If using muscadines, slice each grape in half and flick out any seeds. They will be about the size of a sunflower seed and easy to remove. Place the grapes in the parchment-lined pan.
If using other, seedless, grapes you can slice them if you want or leave them whole and put them directly into the pan.
Pour the olive oil and vinegar over the grapes. Add the rosemary.
Toss to combine. Make sure the grapes are in a single layer and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the grapes have slumped down and begun to give off some liquid.
Discard the rosemary and serve the grapes, making sure to include the syrupy pan juices.
Grapes can be served warm or allowed to cool first. I suspect they would keep for several days in the refrigerator but we've never had any around long enough to find out.