You know, I think the key to eating salads all year round is to highlight one seasonal ingredient in your salad and play it up.
Here, I chose pretty, sweet, plump red grapes. They are roasted with a sprinkling of French lavender and set upon a bed of peppery arugula, sweet shreds of carrot, crunchy toasted walnuts, tangy goat cheese and tart Pretty Pickled Onions. All splashed with a basic red wine vinaigrette. Interesting, fresh flavors in every forkful!
You don’t have to roast the grapes. But roasting softens them and brings out their great, sweet flavor.
Drizzle the grapes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some French lavender. It lightly perfumes the oil and adds a special, unique flavor to the grapes.
Use any color grapes you desire. These red grapes caught my eye though! So pretty!
I happened to find some lavender goat cheese, too. Perfect for this salad if you can find some. If not, any goat cheese would be good; as well as blue cheese or feta. I just love the tang of goat cheese!
I think this would be a particularly nice starter salad for the holidays.
With such complex flavors in the salad; I kept the dressing a basic red wine vinaigrette. It highlights the grapes beautifully.
This salad hits every one of your taste buds. Sweet, peppery, salty, tangy. And lots of great, crunchy texture, too!
Salads don’t have to be boring. And I hope this inspired you to try some unique ingredients in your next salad!
- 1 pound of red, seedless grapes (about 3 cups)
- 6 cups of baby arugula
- ½ cup of grated carrots
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts
- 2-3 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon of dried French lavender
- pickled onions for garnishing (see the recipe on this blog for PRETTY PICKLED ONIONS)
- For the Dressing:
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the grapes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle the grapes with olive oil and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the lavender over the grapes.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the grapes are wrinkled and begin to release some juice.
- Place the walnuts in a small, non stick frying pan and heat over medium heat until they begin to toast and smell fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
- In another small bowl whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon and honey.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the arugula in a bowl.
- Drizzle with a Tablespoon of the dressing.
- Add the grapes (and any juice), carrots, walnuts, goat cheese and toss.
- Garnish with the pickled onions, more goat cheese and walnuts and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
If you ate today, thank a farmer!