There are several things my husband calls my signature dishes. They’re mostly dishes I created and serve regularly. If you happen to be invited to my house for a meal, you will certainly be served Blackberry Tea. And there are other dishes that my family and friends can count on, like Pumpkin Cheesecake in the Fall, Cinnamon Rolls at Christmas, Chocolate for my annual Valentine’s Day Dinner. But, there is one dish I serve year round and everyone loves~ Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad. It’s been standard fare here for over 10 years…we love it. The great thing is that all the ingredients are available year round, so you can enjoy this refreshing dish anytime and all the time. And we do!
I don’t know what possessed me to combine grapes with my tomatoes in a salad years ago, but it turned out to be a stroke of genius…….the sweetness of the grapes and the saltiness of the tomatoes..add to that fresh basil, purple onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Perfection.
First of all, be sure to slice your tomatoes and grapes in half. You certainly don’t want your guests squirting each other in the eye, across the table. Or maybe you do. Your call. Not really ~ you need to slice them, so all the goody can get all over the fruit. And even though this recipe seems exact, it really isn’t. I usually just grab enough tomatoes and grapes for however many people I’m serving, more or less. And I splash the balsamic vinegar and olive oil until I think it’s covered. I add the basil and if I don’t have enough fresh, I add dried, then, I add dried anyway, because it’s best to have both, if possible.
I prefer to use white balsamic vinegar, because if it splashes it won’t show on your husband’s clothes. (yikes) And I sometimes use flavored balsamic vinegar. I love peach and blackberry, for a change. It adds very subtle flavor to an already delicious salad.
I don’t like to make more than I need, because fresh is always better. But, I certainly never throw any away. I just bring it close to room temperature before serving. It keeps a couple of days, refrigerated, easily.
Sometimes I add walnuts and blue cheese. Other times I’ll add almonds and feta. This recipe is so basic that I even add it to other salads, as a condiment. Especially when I order a fast food salad, like this grilled chicken salad from Zaxby’s, I like to top it off with my Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad. It’s not fast food anymore.
See how yummy that looks? And one more little tip. I order ONE grilled chicken salad and ask for one additional grilled breast. When I get home, I divide it in half for my husband and myself. It’s more than enough. Add when you add my Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad as a ‘garnish’…well, you don’t need anything else.
Sometimes I serve it on a bed of lettuce. Most times I don’t. We prefer it as just a side dish. Like this~
Crab stuffed founder, asparagus and Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad…..a perfect meal.
It’s best served the same day it’s made, but it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Enjoy!
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 cups of red grapes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped purple onion
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- a dash of garlic salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Additional suggestions are walnuts, sliced almonds, blue cheese, feta cheese, mozzarella ~ avocado, mango are nice additions, too.
- Add cheese and nuts just before serving.
- Always slice your grapes and tomatoes in half. Pace in large bowl. Add chopped onion and chopped basil leaves. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve over lettuce or alone.
- The ingredients can be more or less according to your taste and what you have on hand, Don't sweat it. Just make it.