Serious Eats: Recipes

Nigel Slater's Salad of Game, Grapes, and Verjuice

[Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin]

Grapes are no strangers in chicken salad, adding sweetness and a burst of freshness to what can often be a rich, heavy dish. In Ripe, Nigel Slater riffs on this combination in A Salad of Game, Grapes, and Verjuice, upping the salad's grape quotient by using verjuice—the juice of unripe grapes—in the vinaigrette dressing. Verjuice adds mellow, slightly musky sourness, and is generally used in leu of vinegar, lemon juice, or wine in salad dressings and sauces. It's a little hard to find, but worth including for its intriguing complexity. In addition to the verjuice, Slater complements the grapes with bitter, crunchy radicchio; thinly sliced celery; and earthy toasted walnuts.

Slater does not limit the salad to chicken; indeed, as the name suggests he finds all manner of game and poultry appropriate. Instead of choosing the meat outright, he suggests using any leftovers available—a huge plus in my book, as I always tend to have leftover bits and pieces of roast chicken or turkey hanging out in the fridge.

Reprinted with permission from Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater. Copyright 2010, 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

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