6 Recipes to Cook or Bake During Grape Season

Goodness gracious, grape season is here! For a fresh fruit, low-calorie snack, grapes are a great option, but they can also lend their flavoring to dinners and baked goods. Although you can probably find grapes year-round, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture says the season kicks off in July and lasts through November. This means you’ll have plenty of time to make one of these six recipes.

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1. Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Shallots

Don’t just put a bowl of grapes on your dinner table — instead bring the fruit to your meal with Bon Appétit‘s roasted chicken and grapes. It yields 4 servings and only takes about 15 minutes of active prep work before roasting in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds assorted seedless grapes (green, red, and black), cut into small clusters
  • 6 large shallots (about 10 ounces), peeled, halved through root end
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus 6 large sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (4 to 4½-pound) chicken, excess fat removed from cavity

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently toss grape clusters, shallots, chopped thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl to coat. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place thyme sprigs in cavity. Place chicken in large roasting pan; arrange grape mixture around chicken. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken thigh registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit and grapes are shriveled, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter; let rest 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, arrange grapes and shallots around chicken. Transfer pan juices to small pitcher; spoon fat from surface of juices and discard. Serve chicken with pan juices alongside.

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2. Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Carefully monitor the nuts as they toast in the oven so that you don’t have burnt pecans as part of Southern Living’s pasta salad. It makes between 6 and 8 servings, and leftovers can be taken to work as lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ (16-ounce) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems. Whisk together mayonnaise and next four ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

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3. Blueberry-Grape Relish

Plain sandwiches will never be same after you’ve made and used Martha Stewart‘s blueberry-grape relish. You could also top off toast with a relish and goat cheese combination. When stored covered and in the fridge, the relish will keep for up to two weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried (two ½-pint containers)
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, rinsed and dried
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions: In a large skillet, combine blueberries, grapes, sugar, ginger, rosemary, and vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently until grapes begin to break down, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let cool completely before using or storing.

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4. Romaine, Gorgonzola, Grape and Walnut Salad

Again, you’ll need to closely monitor the nuts as they toast when making the salad from Soup for Supper, by Joyce Goldstein, via Williams-Sonoma. The salad serves 6 and can transition between seasons. When figs are fresh, use those, but if you cannot find any, substitute for fresh pears.

Ingredients:

Walnut vinaigrette

  • 7 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 1 cup walnuts (halved is suggested)
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, leaves separated and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 6 small ripe figs, quartered through stem ends (optional)
  • 1 cup red or black seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 small pears, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (optional)
  • ½ to ⅔ pound Gorgonzola dolcelatte cheese, at room temperature, broken into bite-size  pieces

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the walnut vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the walnut and olive oils, balsamic and sherry vinegars, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Transfer to a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, toss lightly, and let stand for 15 minutes before assembling the salad.

Place the torn romaine in a large bowl. Add the marinated walnuts and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss well. Divide among chilled individual plates and top with the figs, grapes, or pears, and the cheese, dividing all the ingredients evenly, and serve.

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5. Red Grape, Polenta & Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil in a cake? You better believe it. The Telegraph explains that this is common in Italy and North Africa, creating moist, flavorful cakes. Draw on that Italian inspiration by baking Fine Cooking’s polenta, olive oil, and grape cake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1¾ cups (about 10 ounces) red seedless grapes, washed and dried, divided
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until light in color and increased in volume, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 minute. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest on low speed.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, until just incorporated. Stir in ½ of the grapes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Scatter the remaining grapes over the top of the partially baked cake and continue to bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Release the sides from the pan and let the cake cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar, cutting into wedges, and serving.

Source: iStock

6. Concord Grape Pie

For a completely homemade grape pie, use the filling recipe below from AllRecipes.com, and pair it with tbe Food Network’s double pie crust. If rolling pastry dough isn’t how you envision spending your time, pick up a pie crust at the grocery while buying any other needed ingredients for your sweet grape dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (9-inch) double crust pie
  • 5 cups Concord grapes
  • 1¼ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash grapes and remove the skins. Save the skins. Place grape pulp in a large saucepan; mash a few at the bottom to release their juice. Cook over medium low heat until grapes come to a full boil. Remove pulp from heat and press through a food mill to remove seeds. Combine pulp and skins in a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt. Stir into grape mixture. Pour filling into pastry crust, and dot with butter or margarine. Cover with second pastry shell. Flute edges and cut little slits in the top crust for steam to escape. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in top crust. Cool.

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