Accent Your Summer Menu with Grapes

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When it comes to summer picnics and backyard entertaining, make it easy on yourself and be sure to include grapes. This fresh and juicy burst of flavour makes a shareable appetizer, or a perfect side dish for grilled meats, burgers, and sandwiches. Toss them into a special salad – and for more nutrition and colour – and intrigue – in your drinks, freezing grapes ahead of time can cool a beverage in place of ice cubes.

Did you know that you can also grill grapes? Do it in clusters or as part of a skewer combo. Try marinated shrimp and grape kabobs, or spicy beef cubes with juicy California grapes in between. Heating them actually intensifies their delicious flavour.


To grill California grapes: Clip a bunch into clusters and toss them in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt. They only need 3-4 minutes on the grill next to your meat. Simply turn them a few times and remove them when they begin to slightly char.

Or, try this taste sensation:

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Fresh Grapes, Hot-Sweet Pecans, Baby Greens and Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 servings

Hot-Sweet Pecans

2 tbsp. butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. water

1 cup pecan halves

Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

4 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground

1/2 tsp. salt

Assembly

8 oz. (about 6 cups) baby greens salad mix

2 cups California seedless grapes, rinsed

Butter a metal cookie sheet and set aside. In a non-stick frying pan, combine first set of ingredients, except for the pecans. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Mixture will be bubbly and foamy looking, and very hot. Add pecan halves and stir while cooking for one and a half minutes. Spoon pecans onto cookie sheet and spread to separate. Let cool thoroughly. Whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined. To assemble salad, toss greens with grapes, nuts and vinaigrette.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 458; Protein 6.5 g; Carbohydrate 23 g; Fat 40 g; 75% Calories from Fat; Saturated Fat 9 g; Cholesterol 31 mg; Sodium 592 mg; Fibre 2.6 g.

Article Source: (NC) www.newscanada.com

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