What are Balsamic Grapes?
Though there are many recipes out there for making balsamic grapes, this method is the best, and I'll explain why. Instead of roasting the grapes and balsamic vinegar together, I recommend roasting the grapes separately in olive oil and aromatics. While the grapes roast, the balsamic vinegar cooks on the stovetop and reduces into a syrupy glaze that adheres perfectly to the grapes.
Watch my YouTube Video on how to make them here. Or keep reading!
Sweet and Savory uses for Balsamic Grapes
Their sweet and savory flavors make these roasted grapes the perfect accompaniment for many foods. For instance, I recently used them to top an arugula salad and pan seared chicken. They also make an excellent addition to a charcuterie board or burrata plate.
You may use them as a topping for sweet desserts, like simple vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, or pound cake. Maybe you'll elevate your Sunday mornings by serving them over waffles or french toast.
I've already touched upon the method earlier, but I'll go into more detail in this section.
Roasting the Grapes
Roasting grapes intensifies their natural sweet and tart flavors. Doing so at a high temperature, 450F, causes them to burst in the oven and ooze delicious sugary drippings that caramelize slightly against the bottom of the pan.
When roasting fruits or vegetables, it's better to add high-moisture flavors like citrus or vinegar after roasting, not before. Moisture will prevent the food from developing that delicious caramelization roasting hopes to achieve.
This recipe calls for a balsamic vinegar reduction because of its thickness, condensed sweetness, and minimal acidity. The syrupy balsamic reduction clings to the grapes rather than simply running over them, and the flavor isn't as acidic as unreduced balsamic vinegar. The grapes get all the acidity they need from a small finishing squeeze of lemon.
The Best ever sheet pans (IMO) are by USA Pans. I created this recipe for balsamic grapes before purchasing my USA Pans, but I can't wait to make it again using my new pans. They are sturdy and don't warp when hot, and they help food to caramelize against the pan without sticking. Buy them on Amazon for only $20Print
This recipe provides a very quick way to intensify the sweetness of grapes and balsamic vinegar, making them the perfect addition to both sweet and savory foods.
- 2 cups red seedless grapes, washed and dried well
- 4 mint leaves, torn in half
- The zest of 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- The juice of 1 lemon wedge (⅛th of a lemon)
- Olive oil
- Heat oven to 450F
- Place grapes on a baking sheet, season them with lemon zest, mint leaves, and a big pinch of salt. Drizzle enough olive oil to lightly coat grapes and toss to combine. Arrange grapes so that they are spread out all over the pan. Roast for 10 minutes. (see note 1)
- While the grapes roast, make the balsamic vinegar reduction. Place balsamic vinegar in a small pot over medium heat and cook for several minutes, stirring often, until balsamic vinegar has significantly reduced. It should resemble the thickness of agave, not honey. (see note 2)
- When the grapes are finished roasting, toss them with the balsamic reduction and a squeeze of lemon. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy immediately, or allow them to cool before coving and refrigerating for later use.
- If the grapes are too close to one another on the baking sheet, they will steam instead of browning, so make sure to spread them out.
- No need to measure, but the balsamic reduction will only amount to 2-3Tb. That's OK! We only need a little bit due to its richness.
Keywords: Balsamic Grapes, roasted grapes, balsamic reduction