Grapes are in season, which makes me incredibly happy. Red grapes are one of my absolute favorite fruits, and they’re most delicious when they’re season (like pretty much everything). And organic grapes are only really available during grape season, so I only eat them during this time of year.
Grapes are on the Dirty Dozen list, which means they’re among the fruits and vegetables that, when grown conventionally, have the greatest amount of pesticide residue. And who wants that?
When I lived in Urbana, Illinois, I often ate at Strawberry Fields, a natural grocer and cafe with a deli case full of wonderful goodies. They made a salad called When Grapes Get the Blues, with farfalle pasta, red grapes, blue cheese, and scallions. It sounds unusual, but it all works together. The sweetness of the grapes really complements the sharp saltiness of the blue cheese, and the scallions give it a nice background of oniony flavor.
I don’t know how Strawberry Fields made it, but here’s my recipe:
Grape and Blue Cheese Salad
1 pound oricchiette pasta
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 scallions, sliced
2 1/2 cups halved red grapes
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (around 6 ounces)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Rinse under cold water until cool. Stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the mayonnaise mixture. Stir in the scallions, grapes, and cheese. Chill for 1 hour before serving.