Roast Fruit

What a perfect time of year to discover the delicious flavors you can create by roasting fruit.  Roasting fruit intensifies flavors and allows the sugars to caramelize.  Almost any fruit can be roasted, even those that do not readily come to mind.  Below are some ideas that you may not have thought of but don't be limited by this blog post.  Be adventurous, choose what is in season, and enjoy.

A couple tips - use parchment paper on your roasting pan to make clean-up easier.  Try different herbs and spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary and thyme are all great options.  

Let's start with an unusual idea but one so fitting.  Roasted grapes.  Roasted grapes can be sweet or savory and the possibilities for them are endless.  Roasting is simple.  Pre-Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  For a savory touch, toss the grapes with olive oil, salt and pepper and throw in sprigs of rosemary or thyme if you choose.

Roast the grapes for about 30 minutes until they begin to blister and carmelize.  In addition to popping them right into your mouth as soon as they cool, here are some ideas:  Add roasted grapes to a cheese plate or salad.  Spoon them over roast pork, create a cheese and roasted grape crostini.  The sky's the limit

Another favorite of mine is roast avocado.  Purchase ripe but firm avocados.  Cut in half and  remove the pit.  Without removing the skin, brush the cut side of the fruit with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes.  One way I love to eat roast avocado is to make a light marinade of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and a little brown sugar.  Spoon this into the hole left by the pit and serve with a desert spoon for scooping the avocado and sauce out.

For some really intense flavor try roasted cherries.  Roast very ripe cherries at 450 degrees until they blister.  Roasting with the pits in imparts a nuttiness to the cherries.  Add a little sugar and salt and the flavor really pops.  If you want, remove the pits after roasting.  Cherries are delicious spooned over ice cream and as and accompaniment to roasted meats.

Strawberries may not come to mid when you think of roasting fruit.  Once you try the intensified flavor of roast strawberries, though, you'll be hooked.  The strawberries, dusted with a little sugar, get rich and dark and the fruit becomes jammy. Think of the possibilities.

Don't let these ideas limit you.  Try roast pineapple, peaches, oranges (with the rind), plums, raspberries, blueberries.  Or if you just can't choose, skewer a variety of firm pieces of fruit and roast away!.  Serve these skewers as a simple dessert or as a side to a main course.

Enjoy!

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