Grapes are in season and a similar salad at Maialina Pizzeria prompted me to get around to roasting grapes for this arugula, roasted grape and hazelnut salad at home. Though roasted they are still much closer to a fresh grape than to a raisin, just a little sweeter, softer, and easier to fork up.
Pan-toasted nuts and seeds are a staple on salads at our house and for fancier meals sometimes we candy them with a little sugar. I used to shy away from oven-roasting the nuts, preferring to keep them right under my eye on the range, but I must have gotten better about not burning them because now I like the oven method. For these nuts I coat them with honey, roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes, and then coat them with demerara sugar and a little salt. I may break out the candied hazelnuts as a separate recipe later since they would make a good holiday gift, but for now I have it in with the rest of the salad preparation.
I used my favorite type of hazelnuts, DuChillys, though regular round hazelnuts will also do. DuChillys are grown in Washington State (and perhaps only at Holmquist Orchards?). Wikipedia notes that they have “an elongated appearance, a thinner and less bitter skin, and a distinctly sweeter flavor than other varieties.” For locals, PCC has both DuChilly and regular hazelnuts in bulk.
- 6 oz. arugula
- 2 oz. candied hazelnuts (generous ½ cup)
- 3½ oz (about ¾ cup) grapes, roasted with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper
- about 2 oz. mild fresh goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar or other mild vinegar such as white wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. salt (flaked salt is especially good here)
- a few grinds of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put the grapes in a bowl and drizzle them with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, mix.
- Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place the grapes on the baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes, until the grapes are slightly softened and wrinkled.
- To candy the hazelnuts (note, this is a larger quantity than needed for this recipe but I like to have them on hand):
- Place ½ lb. of hazelnuts in a bowl, mix with 2 Tbsp. honey. Heat the honey slightly in a microwave so it will be easy to mix it with the hazelnuts. Or just mix all into a big sticky pile of hazelnuts, put in the oven, wait for the oven heat to work on the honey a bit and then spread the hazelnuts out a little more on the pan.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the hazelnuts on the baking sheet.
- Roast in 375 degree oven for about ten minutes. Be careful not to overcook and burn them.
- As soon as the hazelnuts are out of the oven, toss them in a bowl with 2 or 3 Tbsp. of demerara sugar and ¼ tsp. of flaked salt, then spread them out to cool.
- Toss the arugula in a large bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
- Arrange the greens on dinner plates.
- Add the grapes and hazelnuts.
- Crumble the goat cheese on top of the salad.