Warm Grapes & Leaves

It’s well known amongst my friends and followers that my darling consort doesn’t like fruit in his salads. I’ve had such delight testing these recipes, my wicked fruit eating ways being legitimised rather than seen as devious ploys to sway him. This salad of sorts I created on a whim, all my favourite flavours – salty, sweet and tart – together for a lunch made in heaven. Serve with crusty bread to smear up the very last bits.

small bunches seedless grapes
3–4 slices pancetta
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp fine caster sugar
handful of rocket or mesclun leaves
1 ball fresh mozzarella
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
good quality balsamic vinegar
rustic bread slices to serve

Preheat oven to 190°C fan bake. Lay small bunches of grapes and the pancetta on a lined baking tray, drizzle grapes with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake the lot for 6–10 mins until pancetta is crispy and grapes slightly blistered. Set aside.

Place the red onion in a small bowl with the red wine vinegar, sprinkle over the caster sugar and zap in a microwave for 1 minute on high. Set aside until cool.

Arrange leaves on a plate. Tuck the grapes, pickled onions and tear the mozzarella and get it in there too. Crush over the crispy pancetta and lay the blistered grapes on top.

Shower over the toasted pine nuts then drizzle the lot in a little balsamic (if it’s a good barrel aged syrupy one, go nuts) and lots of extra virgin olive oil.

Season and devour with sliced baguette.

Recipe and Image Fiona Hugues 

Share This Post