After another year-long farming cycle and careful tending of the vines at Columbine® Vineyards, Holiday grapes have once again been harvested to perfection, and are in stores now through December.
Celebrate the return of the sweetest grapes by getting creative with new ways to enjoy Holiday. We’ve rounded up 10 ways to enjoy these extra-large pops of perfection, so stock up now!
1. Roast them to intensify the flavor.
One of the reasons why Holiday grapes are the perfect snack or side dish is because they require almost no preparation — simply rinse and eat. But, when you roast them, all that natural sweetness is concentrated, creating a totally new experience.
Start with our Roasted Holiday Grapes and Balsamic Crostini recipe — you’ll love how the grapes and rosemary complement the creamy ricotta. Want to turn it into a full meal? Roast the grapes with veggies like fennel, shallots, parsnips, and carrots, and pair with herb-and-garlic roasted chicken. Serve with the whipped ricotta and the baguette slices on the side.
2. Embrace sweet and salty.
You can’t beat the combination of sweet and salty, especially when the saltiness comes from melt in your mouth, paper-thin prosciutto. In summer, you might find melon on the menu with this rich meat. But once Holiday grapes are in season, you’ll realize they are the perfect pairing!
3. Level up your cheese pairings.
Sweet and tangy Holiday grapes mellow out pungent cheese for a flavor bomb experience for your taste buds. Think beyond the basics and opt for intensely flavored cheeses: Try Taleggio, Camembet or a rich blue like Stilton. The sweetness brings out different nuances in the cheese, while their intensity reciprocates, making the naturally sweet grapes sing to your taste buds.
4. Freshen your entrée.
Holiday grapes are always at home, whether it’s on the kitchen counter or the dinner table. But, instead of seeing them as a side dish or dessert, bring them into the main dish.
This simple yet elegant meal that @goodeatswithcon shared last season is perfect for busy weeknights: Sauté about 1 cup of Holiday grapes in a little bit of oil in a pan over low heat with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried rosemary until browned and softened. Add in some cooked pasta, sliced grilled chicken, baby spinach and balsamic vinaigrette. Toss to combine, then top with some feta cheese and enjoy!
5. Lighten up your charcuterie boards.
Elaborate cheese and meat boards hit the spot when you’re craving something rich and want to create a low-effort, high-impact party spread. But other times, you want lighter bites. Keep that same party vibe, but swap in plenty of veggies and maybe even some vegan cheese — and add extra Holiday grapes. You’ll crave this combo all season long! Check out our Plant-Based Party Plate blog post for step-by-step instructions.
6. Build a heartier salad.
Our Winter Quinoa and Holiday Grape Salad is a crowd favorite — and it’s accidentally vegan, so it pleases all dietary preferences. All season long, keep this one in your meal rotation, changing up the ingredients based on what you’re craving (beyond Holiday grapes, of course!) and what’s on hand.
7. Serve the ultimate after-school snack.
Isn’t it funny how hunger hits as soon as kids sit down to do homework? Keep them focused — and well-fed — by setting out a bowl of Holiday grapes for healthy snacking. They’re a hit with little ones and parents alike.
8. Add to DIY bento box lunches.
One of the secrets to getting kids to eat their lunches is to pack a variety of foods. Bento boxes make this easy, especially when one compartment is filled with their favorite pops of perfection.
in a DIY bento box for little ones
9. Spice things up.
Fruit salsa is nothing new — you’ve likely tried different tropical fruit varieties. So why not try it with your favorite Holiday Grapes? Finely dice a small red onion, add a minced jalapeno or habanero (removing the seeds for less heat), and 2 cups of diced Holiday Grapes. Season with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pair with chips, add to burritos, or try it atop grilled fish or chicken for a lighter, flavor-packed meal.
10. Get creative with condiments.
True, there’s no better pairing than peanut butter and jelly (especially when it’s Holiday Grapes Chia Jam), but there’s plenty more to do with this sweet and tangy condiment.