(ARA) – Wait for summer to enjoy grapes? No way! Grapes grown in the fertile valleys of Chile are fresh, juicy and in the market right now, so pick up a bunch or two. When you have grapes in the fridge, they’re ready to go for quick snacking or as a tasty ingredient in entrÃ©es, salads and desserts.
Bite-size, low-calorie and naturally sweet, grapes make an ideal snack or lunchbox treat. Beyond snacks, grapes are great in recipes. For example, Pan-Seared Fish Fillets with Chilean Grapes is adapted from a recipe created by celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, owner of Michy’s Restaurant in Miami, Florida. “The sweet-tart flavor of the fresh grapes adds the perfect spark to this dish,” the chef says. (For Chef Bernstein’s full recipe, visit www.cffausa.org.)
In green salads, grapes are a natural way to sweeten the mix. Grape and Nectarine Tossed Salad with Spicy Honey Dressing is a delicious example of how grapes combined with greens and a sweet-spicy dressing create a balanced and refreshing salad.
Looking for an easy, colorful dessert? Think Chilean fruit! For a new take on the traditional upside-down cake, bake a variety of fresh fruits into the batter. Every time you make it, it can be a little different, yet always easy to prepare and beautiful to take to the table. For example, consider using, in addition to grapes, fresh nectarines, peaches and berries, all in the market now.
There’s no need to “sneak” grapes into your family’s meals. Grapes are popular with kids and adults alike – by the bunch or frozen individually – and they’re good for you. They provide vitamin C, fiber and other nutrients, and make a delicious addition to your daily fruit intake.
Green, red, or black grapes, whatever colors you choose, look for firm, plump fruit and green stems. When you get them home, store your grapes dry in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Rinse just before you use them.
You can find more great grape recipes and information, including a complete list of varieties at www.cffausa.org.
Here are some tasty recipes you may want to try:
- 4 fish fillets (such as snapper or cod), about 6 ounces each
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup Chilean seedless red and/or green grapes, quartered lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon or ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
- Lightly season fish fillets with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot.
- Add fish, skin side down; cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until opaque, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove to dinner plates; cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add onion to drippings in pan; cook and stir until lightly browned. Stir in wine, vinegar, honey and 1 tablespoon water; cook and stir over medium heat until reduced to about ¼ cup. Stir in butter; heat until melted. Stir in grapes and tarragon; return just to a boil and remove from heat.
- Spoon sauce over fish. If desired, serve with puree of sweet peas.