Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Roasted Grape Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

I just got back from a five-day trip to Portland (love it up there) spending time with family, but I am so behind on my Thanksgiving series that I plan to post a recipe everyday for the next 15 days straight! 

Last week before I left I made a Roasted Grape Salad with Shaved Fennel, Apple, Candied Walnuts with a Tarragon Vinaigrette and it was so delicious that I plan to serve it as my first course for Thanksgiving dinner.  This is a very elegant salad and all the ingredients remind me of California, especially the grapes, the fennel and the wine.  Just perfect for a fall dinner or anytime you want to impress your guests.   

Red Wine Reduction:

2 cups Merlot, Syrah or Ruby Port
2 tbsp agave syrup

  • Add wine and agave to a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes until you have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and set aside, the syrup will thicken more as it cools.  You want about 1/3 cup reduction when finished.  
Tarragon Vinaigrette:

1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced shallot
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon
1/4 cup champagne or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Mix all ingredients together (except olive oil) in a small bow and whisk in olive oil slowly until emulsified.  I prefer my vinaigrette to be more acidic a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.  If too tart, add in more olive oil to taste. 
Candied Walnuts:

1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small sauce pan bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add walnuts and blanch for 3 minutes.
  • Drain walnuts and toss with powdered sugar, salt and cayenne pepper and stir until nuts are completely coated.
  • Cover a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper and spread walnuts evenly on the surface.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes until walnuts are caramelized, stirring frequently so that they cook evenly.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Roasted Grapes:

1 lb large red or black seedless grapes
1 tbsp extra virgin oil oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Toss grapes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 20-30 minutes until soft and caramelized.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool before using.
Salad Ingredients:
(Serves 4-6)

Two heads butter/bibb lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces, washed
1 large organic granny smith apple, core removed, sliced into 2" matchstick slices
1 large fennel bulb, tough outer layer removed, shaved thinly on mandoline
Roasted Grapes
Candied Walnuts
Tarragon Vinaigrette
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Red wine reduction/syrup
1 tbsp minced tarragon for garnish

  • Place butter/bib lettuce, apple and fennel in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle lightly with tarragon vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  • Plate salad and garnish with roasted grapes, candied walnuts and drizzle with red wine reduction.  
  • Garnish with minced tarragon.


No comments:

Post a Comment