Roasted Grape, Butternut & Artichoke on Herbed Walnut Quinoa

After four days of feeling utterly sorry for myself with my woeful sinus infection, I decided to buck up yesterday and make a proper dinner. The combination of getting tired of eating the leftovers, albeit delicious ones, of my soup, seeing autumn decorations and recipes everywhere on Pinterest on my sick day, and trying to stay up past eight to get a full night of rest manifested in this lovely little one-bowl dinner.

The other motivation was that my dogs had literally taken over my “sick bed,” which consisted of a pillow, computer, and a fantastic heated blanket my sweet husband got for me to stop me from turning the heat up to 85 degrees ever again because he loves me. My dogs appear to prefer the heated blanked even over hot laundry fresh from the dryer. This is my life:

Although I’ve seen a few recipes with roasted grapes, I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to try them. I love both grapes and raisins, but I don’t usually care for recipes that use either of them as ingredients. Roasted grapes are absolutely wonderful, though. It’s so much fun to discover a new component, especially one that is inherently delicious and doesn’t need significant manipulation. They become very sweet, like many oven-roasted fruits and vegetables, and have a very strong flavor. What I like about roasted grapes, like roasted whole tomatoes, though, is that the juiciness is kept inside the peel of the fruit, so there isn’t wet grape juice baking all over everything. It’s just a hit of grape in each bite that doesn’t overwhelm the mellow butternut flavor. 

When Z took a bite of a roasted grape, he astutely asked why roasted grapes “aren’t already a thing”? Maybe we are late to the game, but in any event, we have shown up! The roasted grapes pair beautifully with the butternut squash and the marinated artichokes. I served ours with toasted walnut quinoa, leftover chicken, and balsamic vinegar. 

Roasted Grape, Butternut & Artichoke on Herbed Walnut Quinoa
Serves four as a side dish, two as a main course

For the roast, you will need:
  • 1 bunch red grapes (approximately 20 grapes)
  • 1/2 onion, cut in large chunks 
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup densely packed marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
Roast method:
  • Preheat the oven to 375. 
  • Toss together all of the ingredients to evenly distribute spices, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes. 

For the quinoa, you will need:
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt, pepper, and coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. each paprika, parsley, and celery salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
Quinoa method:
  • Toast chopped walnuts together with quinoa on low-medium heat for approximately five minutes, until the walnuts become fragrant. 
  • Add in remaining ingredients except olive oil and stir. Turn up heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, uncovered. 
  • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add olive oil and toss cooked quinoa slightly before serving. 
To serve, optional:
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped feta or chevre
  • 1 cup chopped arugula
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped fresh parsley 

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