(Family Features) Along with the delicious food, gift-giving, and cheer of the holiday season, getting together with friends and family is also cherished. Whether it’s a cozy weekend dinner with friends or time for festive merrymaking, you can enhance any gathering with unique small plates and appetizers.
Make the season special with California grapes, which are abundant into January, as an ingredient in your favorite dishes or by decorating with them for colorful pops of red, green and black. If time is of the essence, they also offer an easy, fresh, healthy snack or side dish that adds color and flavor to your table.
Find more tasty appetizers, meals, desserts, and more at grapesfromcalifornia.com.
Easy Grape Compote
Prep time: 5 minutes, plus cooling
Cook time: 20 minutes
4 cups black or red grapes
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 strips fresh lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon high-quality balsamic vinegar (optional)
In a bowl of a food processor, finely chop grapes and sugar using one-second pulses. Transfer to deep, medium skillet or wide saucepan; stir in lemon peel, salt, and water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover pan with lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 18 minutes until fruit is tender.
In a small bowl, stir lemon juice and cornstarch then stir into the grape mixture with butter; simmer for 6 minutes, or until desired consistency. Stir in vinegar, if desired. Serve warm or cool.
Cooled jam can be stored in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 160 calories; 0 g protein; 41 g carbohydrates; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
Source: California Table Grape Commission