Unlike bananas in bread, peaches in cobbler or apples in pie, grapes don’t spring to mind for cooking. But we wanted a little summer in winter, so we started experimenting. We found them to behave similar to fresh cherries . . . without the pits and a lot cheaper.
Grapes are often an impulse buy at the supermarket. They look so fresh and taste so refreshing, we can’t wait to get them home, give them a rinse and start snacking. When buying grapes, remember to look for bunches whose stems are bright green, not brown, and be sure to remove any damaged or bruised fruit before storing. Here are some ideas for using them.
• Make a salad of mesclun greens with slices of red apple, red grapes and feta cheese, all dressed in a light, bright vinaigrette.
• Freeze a handful of grapes for a refreshing, light snack or dessert.
• Toss halved red or green grapes with cooked quinoa, sliced radishes and celery, chopped green onion, and toasted walnuts for a main-dish high-fiber salad. Dress with your favorite curry-flavored vinaigrette.
• Make this Grape and Apple Crisp, a quick, super easy dessert that calls out for a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a topping.
Grape and Apple Crisp
Sometimes, the top is nicely browned but the apples are not quite tender. If this happens, cover the pan with foil and bake another 5 or 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft. If you prefer, you can make this crisp in 8 (12-ounce) ramekins.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled tart apple (like Granny Smith)
2 cups seedless red grapes (about 2/3 pound)
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. To prepare topping, combine flour, oats, walnuts, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. To prepare filling, combine all ingredients in a 2-quart baking pan; sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake 45 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender. Let cool on wire rack. Serves 8.
Per serving: 410 calories, 20g fat, 45mg chol., 4g prot., 57g carbs., 4g fiber, 10mg sodium.
Recipe by Jean Kressy, a food writer in Ashburnham, Mass.
Photo by Mark Boughton Photography/styling by Teresa Blackburn