Ah, but Annie, um….this isn’t real grape salad.
Truth, but grape salad isn’t real salad.
I first sampled grape salad this past July at a baby shower. It was my second day in Ohio, so I mentally classified it as a Midwestern dish. I want to tread carefully here, since a highly respected publication made a similar declaration a year or two ago, and received a harsh scolding.
But I’d never even heard of it before I stepped foot in Ohia, (not typo) so to me it’s a Midwestern thing. Pronouncing words that end with “O” as if they ended with “A” is both a Midwestern thing and a southern thing. Carrbora for Carrboro. Greensbara for Greensboro (can you tell that I still miss NC?)
Even though I still miss Raleigh terribly, I promised Jason that I’d work harder at being comfortable here. Thus the grape salad. It’s a piece offering to Ohio. Sort of.
It’s also a very New Year’s dish. Eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight is apparently a Spanish tradition, one grape for each month to bring you good luck. Probably thought up by some genius parents who didn’t want to share their vino. Hey why don’t you kids eat some grapes and then go to bed, mmmkay?
I don’t know why Spanish parents sound like Mr. Mackey from South Park. It just seemed to fit.
Traditionally, grape salad is supposed to have sour cream and cream cheese, pecans and walnuts and heaps and heaps of sugar.
I traded the sour cream and cream cheese for nonfat Greek yogurt, and traded the nuts and brown sugar for….uh…. oatmeal cookies.
But the cookies really work here, trust me.
I threw the Greek yogurt into the ice cream churner with a little bit of lemon juice and sugar, and it came out tasting exactly like the tart flavor from the yogurt shop. I only ever get tart if they are out of tarro, which is my all-time fave. But tart is pretty good too, and it’s easy to reproduce at home.
The tart, cold, creamy yogurt is a perfect complement to the bright sweet grapes and the chewy oatmeal cookies. And then I threw in some nuts because salty and sweet is almost always a good idea.
P.S. Happy New Year, everyone. If your 2015 wasn’t great, here’s to a fresh start. I’m ready.