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Peel Me a Grape!

July 31, 2013 By:
Rivka Tal
Posted In 


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The combination of their texture and a sweet, tart flavor has made grapes an ever-popular between-meal snack as well as a refreshing addition to both fruit and vegetable salads. But we don’t have to stop there.
Grapes are more versatile than you think. Consider their role in parfaits, pies — and Chicken Veronique. And I really suggest you take a leap (as I did) and make your own jam (no preservatives and sweetened to your taste).
So many varieties are available these days: red, purple, robust, sweet and tart Concord; smaller, seedless black or purple grapes; and the many varieties of both seedless and seeded green grapes.
Try freezing washed and stemmed grapes. Place them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer. Put into zippered freezer bags when frozen. Then they’re available for myriad uses.
Warning for those with small children: Do not let them near whole grapes. They’re a choking hazard.
Slow-Roasted Grape and Yogurt Parfaits
It’s absolutely worth the time to bake grapes for three hours. Low and slow heating concentrates their sweetness and turns fruit buttery-soft with almost no effort.
1 and 1⁄3 cups seedless black grapes
1 and 1⁄3 cups seedless red grapes
1 and 1⁄3 cups seedless green grapes
3 Tbsps. sugar
2 cups plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt, divided
1⁄4 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped, divided
8 tsps. honey, divided
fresh mint leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.
Wash grapes in a colander and drain well. Place grapes and sugar in a large bowl and toss to coat.
Arrange grapes on prepared pan. Bake for 3 hours or until grapes soften but still hold their shape. Remove from oven and cool.
Spoon 1⁄4 cup yogurt or sour cream into the bottom of each of 4 parfait glasses. Top each serving with about 1⁄3 cup grapes, 1 and 1⁄2 teaspoons walnuts and 1 teaspoon honey.
Repeat layers with remaining ingredients; garnish with mint leaves if desired.
Makes 4 parfaits.
Purple Grape Pie
(Pareve or Dairy)
1 and 1⁄2 lbs. (4 cups) small, seedless purple grapes
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup flour
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 and 1⁄2 Tbsps. melted butter or margarine
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Topping Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄3 cup butter or margarine
Wash and stem grapes. Place in a saucepan with 1⁄2 cup water and simmer for about 5 minutes, watching carefully, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Drain if too watery.
Preheat oven to 400˚. Combine sugar, flour, salt, lemon juice and butter or margar­ine to make coarse crumbs. Mix in grapes.
Pour grape mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Combine topping ingredients and crumble over pie.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is golden. Cool on a rack.
Makes one 9-inch pie.
Grape Jam
1 and 1⁄2 lbs. (4 cups) small, seedless purple grapes
3 cups sugar (or more, to taste)
juice of one lemon
Wash and stem grapes. Place in a medium saucepan with 3 cups sugar over low heat. Stir well and often with a wooden spoon to help dissolve sugar.
Cover and continue cooking and stirring, watching carefully, for 2 to 3 hours, until mixture is reduced by about 1⁄3. Add lemon juice and cook for another half hour or so.
Remove from heat and let cool. Store in closed containers in refrigerator. Jam will congeal further when cold.
Chicken Salad Veronique
2 whole chicken breasts, with skin, halved
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup regular or reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 and 1⁄2 tsps. chopped fresh tarragon leaves (if available)
1 cup small-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a parchment-covered baking pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with pepper.
Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 170˚. Set aside until cool.
When chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Dice into 3⁄4-inch pieces. Place the chicken in a bowl; add mayonnaise, tarragon leaves, celery, grapes, salt and pepper to taste and toss well.
Makes 3 cups.

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