NO MORE Wasted Grapes!

Haven’t we all had the experience of buying a very big bag of tables grapes because they were on sale, only to get ‘em home and wonder “How the heck are we going to use these up before they spoil?”

It was with this scenario in mind that I went searching for ways to enjoy grapes, besides eating-out-of-hand or including them in chicken salad. It just happens I found a week’s worth of suggestions on a clever site,

But first things first. Storing them so they’ll last is key. Do you put them in the fridge, or not? It all depends. There’s a reason non-wine-making grapes are called “table grapes,” not “refrigerator grapes.” This label is premised on the idea that they’ll be consumed daily by all who pass them by—thus there’s no need for refrigeration. BUT in general, refrigerating grapes is the best way to keep them fresh longer. Refrigerated grapes should last 7 to 14 days.

Grapes are typically sold by weight, and a typical pre-bagged selection is around 3 to 4 pounds, depending on where you shop. Thus, you can see why it can be a challenge to get through them before they spoil.

Grapes come in tons of cultivars and sizes, from adorably itty-bitty Champagne grapes to plump red globes. The 7-day plan suggests uses red seedless grapes, but if you’ve got a bag of green, black, or another type, you can easily substitute those.

Depending on their size, there’s also some variation in how many cups of grapes you’ll get per pound. For most table grapes, you can expect a yield of 2 to 2 1/2 cups per pound. Therefore, a 3-pound bag should net you 6 to 7 1/2 cups.

When it comes to fruit (and all the nutrients included), I take a more-is-better philosophy! The following ideas use a total of 7½ cups of grapes.

You’ll want to start off with fresh and firm grapes. Early in the week, then, consider:

A CHARCUTERIE BOARD that uses 1½ cups of grapes. This is a very flexible, no-cook dinner for those nights you’re either too busy or too tired to cook. Let juicy grapes shine alongside sparkling water, and you’ve got a satisfying summer meal.

By the middle of the week, your grapes should be holding steady in the fridge. Unlike some fruits, though, they don’t continue to ripen once they leave the vine — so don’t expect them to get sweeter as the days go by.

Roasted Broccoli and Grape Salad

Serving size: 6
Calories per serving: 304

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup medium grind bulgur wheat (or barley or quinoa, cooked to package instructions)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium red onion sliced
6 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Set a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the bulgur and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the broth. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Give it a stir, then cover and reduce the heat. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the bulgur is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.
4. Fluff the bulgur with a fork, then stir in the parsley and salt. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
5. While the bulgur is cooking, add the red onion and broccoli to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer.
6. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the veggies are tender but the broccoli still has a slight bit of crunch. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
7. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard and olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
8. Add the slightly cooled veggies and bulgur to a large bowl and toss to combine (breaking up any sort of big “clumps” of bulgur). Add in the grapes and sunflower seeds and toss again.
9. Spoon some of the salad onto a dish. Top with a good drizzle of the honey mustard. Serve immediately. I like to sprinkle on some extra sunflower seeds as a garnish!

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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NOW’S A GOOD TIME FOR THAT PROVERBIAL CHICKEN SALAD AND GRAPES. You’ll use another cup of grapes along with a generous addition of toasted pecans and everyone will enjoy this favorite. And if you don’t have enough folks around to handle six servings, just remember that any leftovers can be used as filling for sandwiches, wraps, lettuce cups, or stuffed tomatoes.

THEN THERE’S GRAPE GRANITA as we move through the week. This takes 2 cups of grapes for 6 servings. With just three ingredients (red grapes, ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ cup water), dessert doesn’t get any simpler.

Start by making a simple syrup with the water and sugar, stirring over medium-high heat just to dissolve the sugar. While this is cooling, puree your grapes in a blender and filter that through a strainer.

In a freezer-safe glass bowl, pour the strained grape juice into the sugar syrup; mix well and freeze for at least an hour. After an hour, scrape the sides and return it to the freezer. Repeat the same process 2 more times.


FINALLY TRY FRUIT SALSA WITH CINNAMON TORTILLA CHIPS at the end of the week. You’ll need 2 cups of grapes for 10 servings. I’d never knock traditional tomato salsa, but this fruity alternative makes the perfect appetizer (or even dessert).

The beauty of this idea is that any wrinkled or otherwise imperfect grapes get folded into a diced-up mix of fruits—any mix you happen to have on hand. Since the recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, you can get generous and share with family, roommates, or neighbors.

Start by gently stirring your chosen diced fruits together in a large bowl. Cover this and chill. Then prepare your tortilla chips by cutting 10 medium flour tortillas into 1/8 wedges. Place these on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush them all with melted butter. Generously sprinkle them with a cinnamon and sugar mixture and bake for 5-6 minutes. They’ll crisp up more as they cool.


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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