I’ve noticed a dearth of easy yet interesting red grape recipes on the internet, and I’d like to put a dent in that with this red grape salad. My favorite salads are usually full of contrasting ingredients, and this one is no exception. It starts with a bed of peppery arugula studded with sweet, juicy red grapes; salty, crisp bacon; and nutty, crunchy walnuts. Add a tangle of sauteed red onion and a punchy, lightly sweetened vinaigrette, and you’ve got the makings of your next long-term weekday lunch craving.
Red Grape salad with Bacon and a Sherry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard (substitute coconut aminos or your preferred ingredient if AIP)
Scant 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar or white sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste (omit pepper if AIP)
4 strips of bacon
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly (you can substitute shallots, just not white or yellow onions)
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled (omit if AIP)
1 1/2 cups red grapes, rinsed and dried
1. To make the dressing, add the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and sugar to a mason jar with a few pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Screw the lid on the jar and shake well. If you don’t have a jar, just whisk everything together in a bowl until emulsified. Give the dressing a taste, but when you are adjusting the salt, keep in mind that you’re eating this on bacon, which will add saltiness of its own.
2. In a large skillet (cast iron, baby!), cook the bacon until crisp, then set aside. While the bacon is cooling, turn down the heat to low and add the red onions. Cook them long enough so that they wilt and lose a little volume, then remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Place the arugula, walnuts, and grapes in a large bowl. Drizzle some dressing over the salad, a little at a time, and toss lightly with your hands. You only want to use enough dressing so that it lightly clings to the leaves without any excess puddling at the bottom of the bowl. Add the onions and bacon and toss again. Serve immediately.
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