I’ve been focusing a lot on showcasing specific ingredients as the salad itself, but this time, I wanted to showcase a specific ingredient in a dressing. I happened to use a beautiful salad green mix I bought at the market today,
but any green mix or spinach would be fine as a platform for the dressing. Even the broccoli and cauliflower component could be any number of your favourite salad vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, corn kernels, etc.
The ingredient I wanted to focus on? The Coronation grape.
This grape has a buttery interior with a chewy, thick skin. The thicker skin adds complexity to the grape’s overall flavour. Tart, slightly bitter and the flavours keep opening up, the more you chew. Many bold wines are pressed from thicker skinned grapes for this very reason: the character and personality it would add to a potential wine.
I wanted to maintain as much of the purity of flavour in the grape as I could, but perhaps fill in some flavour profiles that may not be there, namely savoury and spicy notes. This was done through softly sautéed onion and red chilli.
In the meantime, pour a glass of wine and think about the grape that went into that glass, what qualities and had…and make salad! (or you know…drink it…it’s up to you) 😉
Chilli Coronation Grape-Dressed Broccoli Cauliflower Salad on Mixed Greens
For the Chilli Coronation Grape Dressing:
1 Tbsp cold pressed canola oil
4 spring onions, chopped finely, white part only (reserve green parts, some for the dressing, some for the salad)
1 red finger chilli, chopped finely, seeds kept or removed depending on how spicy you like it
1 cup Coronation grapes (or other thick-skinned grapes)
1/2 tsp salt
In a small pan off the heat, add the oil, spring onions and chilli. Gradually bring the heat up to medium, softly sautéeing until the onions and chilli just soften but not brown (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from the pan and cool in a small bowl.
Purée the grapes in a blender until nearly smooth. A few tiny bits of skin is fine. Add the cooled onion-chilli-oil mixture, along with the salt and half of the green parts of the spring onions, and stir to combine. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
For the salad:
1 cup cauliflower, florets cut into 1cm (1/2″) pieces
1 cup broccoli, florets cut into 1cm (1/2″) pieces
Reserved Chilli Coronation Grape Dressing
4 cups mixed greens (or spinach)
12-14 Coronation grapes, for garnish
1 yellow carrot, peeled and shaved, for garnish
Reserved green part of spring onions, for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower and Chilli Coronation Grape Dressing. Allow to sit and marinate for at least 10 minutes (leaving it longer with soften the vegetables more, so if you want a softer vegetable marinate for an hour or more). Mound half of the mixed greens in the centre of two plates. Top with the dressed broccoli and cauliflower, setting it in the centre of the greens. Scatter the grapes, shaved carrot and green onion over the top. Serves 2.