My kids love the convenience of having grapes available in the supermarket year-round thanks to the global farming industry. However, my pocketbook is happiest during the fall season when grapes are at their peak in my part of the world. California is the largest supplier of grapes in the United States, accounting for more than 90 percent of production, and I’ve been snapping up bunches of these West Coast beauties for 79 to 99 cents a pound. Since my family with three teen boys can go through several pounds of grapes a day if given free range, I am always looking for those seasonal sales on fruit and other produce!
Grapes aren’t just economical for a snack or side dish; they’re delicious and nutritious, too! According to the California Table Grape Commission, grapes of all colors are rich in resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in the fruit’s skin which can help reduce the risk for many types of cancer and serious health conditions. And, for only 90 calories per 3/4 cup, grapes have no fat, no cholesterol and hardly any sodium – plus they are a great source of vitamin K and other antioxidants. Once when I was young, my family picked our own grapes at a pay-by-the-bushel sort of place – my brother and I ate grapes until we nearly burst and then my clever parents turned the remainder into raisins by laying them out to dry on screens in the Arizona sun. Some of my favorite ways to eat grapes these days, aside from straight out of the bag, are frozen, grilled, or tossed atop a simple salad. That being said, I’ve never thought to make an entire salad out of grapes until I recently came home with a glutton’s ration of grapes and put together this recipe for Grape, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad out of necessity.
Green and red grapes are tossed with walnuts, red onions and Litehouse Food’s Blue Cheese Crumbles or Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles to create a sweet-savory salad with a full-bodied, flavorful composition that will beautifully accompany any autumn meal. Additionally, take note that this fruit salad recipe may be prepared ahead without fear of wilting, making it a great take-along dish for pot lucks, tail gating and other seasonal celebrations. While I’ve dressed the salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, it would also be delicious with one of Litehouse Food’s other delectable dressings too!
Finally, if you like this idea of pairing nuts with fruit and cheese, check out these impromptu yet elegant appetizers that can be made with the recipe’s featured salad ingredients – simply thread a chunk of blue cheese, grapes and walnut onto a bamboo pick or skewer. Enjoy!