grape, feta, and walnut salad with lemon-mint vinaigrette
Sometimes, when it’s hot out, I want a salad. And not just the boring old lettuce-cucumber-tomato-onion salad that I keep on permanent standby. But something a little more interesting, preferably with less chopping involved.
Yes, you heard me correctly. Sometimes, I don’t feel like chopping things. Like right now. It’s hot out, okay? And I just finished doing 70 push-ups at Bar Method. My arms are toast – even when it comes to holding my favorite chef’s knife. But a teeny little paring knife? That, I can manage, as long as it’s brief.
This week, I had procured perfectly plump purple grapes (how’s that for alliteration?) that begged me to use them in this better-than-lettuce salad. So I quickly halved two handfuls of grapes, stirred in some feta (always in my refrigerator) for a creamy saltiness that would balance the sweetness of the grapes. Then, I added chopped toasted walnuts (always in my freezer – they stay fresher longer that way) and whisked up a quickie lemon-mint vinaigrette with a touch of agave nectar’s sweetness to tone down the sour lemon juice, and there you have it. A perfect salty-sweet and creamy-crunchy lunch or side dish that you can throw together in advance (to let it marinate) or on the spot (still delicious). This salad is fast, easy, and healthy yet refreshingly un-lettuced.
Grape, Feta, and Walnut Salad
2 c. purple grapes
1/4 c. feta, crumbled
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Halve the grapes, and toss in a bowl with feta, walnuts, and half the vinaigrette recipe below. Let sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Taste, and if desired, toss with additional vinaigrette to taste. Serve cold.
Makes 1/2 cup
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (2 lemons, approximately)
3-4 tsp. light agave nectar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped mint
Whisk all ingredients together. Let sit for 15 minutes before tossing with salad to allow flavors to meld.