One of my favorite anytime salads is this … baby arugula and pan-grilled grape salad with cashew cheese balls, toasted sliced almonds, and lemony-pepper grilled grape vinaigrette. Not only does it have one of the longest salad names ever, it’s seriously one of the tastiest ever. Luckily, so it won’t be so difficult to remember the name of this, I gave it a shortened-up nickname: “anytime arugula and grilled grape salad!” That better?!
Grilling the grapes make them more memorably sweet and savory with a desirable hint of smokiness. Toasting the almonds makes them taste nuttier. The vegan cashew cheese balls add fun while balancing the salad’s fruitiness and pairing well with the pepperiness. (And don’t worry, you can just use a high-quality store-bought brand of soft cashew cheese like I do!) Oh, and making the grilled grapes part of the salad dressing deliciously marries everything together.
I developed the recipe to serve just one. That’s you! But it can be easily multiplied to serve as many people as you like. Enjoy … any time!
anytime arugula and grilled grape salad
Yield: 1 salad
Serving size: 2 rounded cups
- 12 green seedless grapes
- 8 red seedless grapes
- 2½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ounce soft cashew cheese, such as Treeline Treenut Cheese, herb garlic flavor
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ ounces fresh baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon natural sliced almonds, preferably pan-toasted
- 8 small fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Insert the grapes onto skewers. Brush with ½ teaspoon of the olive oil. Grill until rich markings form, about 6 minutes, rotating only once.
- Roll the cashew cheese into three (or more) balls. (Hint: This works best when it’s well chilled.) Set aside.
- Mince 4 of the grilled green grapes. Add the minced grapes to a blender with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, black pepper, and salt. Blend on high speed until pureed.
- In a medium bowl toss the arugula with the lemony-pepper grilled grape vinaigrette. Arrange the salad on a rimmed plate or a flat bowl. On top of the salad, add the grilled grapes, almonds, cashew cheese balls and, if using, the basil leaves. Sprinkle with a little extra black pepper to serve.
Per serving: 300 calories, 25g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 26g total carbohydrate, 3.5g dietary fiber, 17g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 7g protein