Ar­riv­ing to grape fan­fare

Los Angeles Times - - FOOD & DINING - — Noelle Carter

What’s in sea­son: South­ern Cal­i­for­nia grape sea­son is here, typ­i­cally start­ing dur­ing the hot months of sum­mer and ex­tend­ing into early fall, with stands fea­tur­ing a wide va­ri­ety of the fruit, from early-ma­tur­ing Black Emer­ald to crisp Sum­mer Royal, plump seed­less Flame and seed­less Thomp­son grapes. While you can find green Thomp­son grapes at the su­per­mar­ket, look for the golden, al­most am­ber col­ored ones at farm­ers mar­kets for real depth of fla­vor. Check with the farmer for par­tic­u­lar fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics and sug­ges­tions for us­ing.

What to cook: Add fresh grapes to sal­ads, par­faits and cheese plat­ters for both color and fla­vor. Throw them on the grill or roast un­til blis­tered to bring out jammy, caramelized notes. They are per­fect served along­side meat, chicken and fish. Dot fresh fo­cac­cia with dark grapes or sauté Con­cord grapes for a sim­ple sauce to pair with pork ten­der­loin. Slice white or green grapes and add them to rice stuff­ing with roasted chicken, or pickle grapes for an easy ap­pe­tizer.

What’s on the hori­zon: Nor­mally a fall sta­ple, ap­ples, in­clud­ing Early Gold and Gala, are just be­gin­ning to ap­pear at se­lect stands.

Myung J. Chun Los An­ge­les Times

CON­CORD grapes add an ir­re­sistibly juicy touch to f lat­bread. Go on­line for a look at grape recipes, la­times.com/food.

Richard Har­tog Los An­ge­les Times

PICK­LED GRAPES ac­com­pany this grilled pork chop. They can also work as an ap­pe­tizer.

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