Green Grape Salad Dressing
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I supposed there are a number of good reasons why cycling is my preferred mode of transportation. But perhaps one of the greatest reasons is that it allows me to see all the foods that are growing trail-side. Unfortunately, this task doesn't translate well to driving a car. When I drive down a road, my greatest urge is to go 10 mph and check out all of the fence lines and ditches. Other drivers don't seem to appreciate this, though. Pesky drivers and their honking horns, always trying to get somewhere in a hurry!
But if you're like me and can't resist looking out the window for food, drive-by foraging is a great way to find grapes. Since grape vines like to vine and trail out of yards, you'll often see lovely grapes escaping down the backside of fences. And while I much prefer the flavor of little wild grapes that grow in the mountain canyons here, city grapes have their advantages. Not only do they ripen more quickly than their country cousins, but they tend to have much larger grapes and leaves. Larger grapes leaves are good to have if you plan to stuff them. And larger fruit mean more juice for the effort.
Green Grape Salad Dressing
If you live in an area where grapes haven't yet ripened, don't despair. You can use green grapes to make all sorts of tasty dishes. This particular idea came from my friend at Eat the Pig. The basic premise here is to use green grape juice, otherwise known as verjus, as the acidic component of your salad dressing. Why would you want to do that, you ask? Well, it has a delicious flavor all it's own, but it's also slightly less harsh than vinegar, and it won't clash with wine. If you'd like to read more about verjus, check out Hank Shaw's recent post about it.
To make green grape salad dressing, toss a handful of unripe grapes into a food processor, and buzz them until they begin to look juicy. Pour this mash into a sieve, and collect the resulting juices. Mix the green grape juice with an equal part of olive oil (or to taste), a touch of mustard to help emulsify the dressing, a few scratches of garlic, and salt and pepper, then whisk to combine.
Enjoy this quick and scrumptious salad dressing on any of your favorite salads. I'm particularly fond of having it on a salad of purslane and cherry tomatoes. Green grape salad dressing also makes a nice marinade or finishing sauce for meats, fish, and shellfish.
I'm sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop, and Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.