Ina Garten is my goddess. Yes, technically she is the “Barefoot Contessa” not “Barefoot Goddess,” but my fondest memories of cooking programs is with Ina and I think she is a superb cook and baker. Ina got her earliest cooking lessons from Julia Child, and while I love Julia Child like every other home cook, Ina was the approachable and friendly family member you always wanted to have, and her television presence always made you feel like you were a friend. She is the ultimate goddess of cocktails and party-throwing, and I always aspired to have her life as I grew older- who doesn’t want dinner parties complete with cocktails and a fresh baked goodie?
I recently had the pleasure of watching Ina speak during her book tour for her latest cookbook Make it Ahead, and she was just as lovely in person as I expected. Her love of food and entertaining showed through her Q & A session, and I succumbed to the shiny cover of her new book and bought a signed copy. One of the dishes that looked absolutely amazing was a warm arugula salad with roasted figs. She recommends roasting figs that aren’t quite ready yet as to release the natural juices and sweetness of the fruit. Since you definitely cannot find fresh figs anymore in Boston, I substituted the figs for grapes and they were absolutely delicious. Combined with a wonderful mustard vinaigrette. peppery arugula, and toasted almonds, this is the perfect light salad to complement a meal. It’s also delicious with a bit of tempeh crumbled on top 🙂
Warm Arugula Salad with Roasted Grapes and Toasted Almonds
(adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)
– 1 bunch of fresh arugula (can substitute with bag)
– 1/2 pound fresh grapes
– Good olive oil for coating grapes
– Kosher Salt
– 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
– 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
– 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (can add more if desired)
– 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
– Preheat the oven to 350*
– Rinse the grapes, pat dry, and place in small clusters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil to coat the grapes and sprinkle a small amount of kosher salt over them.
– Roast for 15- 20 until very soft.
– In a small pan, toast your almonds until golden brown.
– Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl.
– Arrange a small amount of arugula in a serving dish (can be made in larger amounts as well). Place grapes and almonds on top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Also by Karina: I Tried It: 8 Week Bar Method Challenge
Photo: Karina Alexander