Summer party potlucks…ugh…what to bring? Of course you can bring the usual brownies, guacamole or macaroni salad…but why be ordinary? Yes, I pride myself on being different. Sometimes that works to my advantage and sometimes it works in quite the opposite direction, but at least I’m consistent. Right?
We were assigned either appetizers or desserts based on the alphabetical falling of our last name. As you can see by the above picture, we got appetizer. Normally, I would be jazzed by this but considering this was an outdoor picnic (read free for all) that was to include somewhere between 50 and 100 people (big and little peoples a.k.a. kids) I couldn’t make my one of my usual appetizer recipes. So I decided to make salsa, because a little goes a long way, and get a little creative.
The weather here in Southern California hasn’t exactly been cooperating with my garden the past couple of weeks. I’ve got loads (that would be an understatement btw) of green tomatoes hanging on the vines with none of them ripening due to the lack of sunshine. ARRRRGH! So how was I going to make gallons of salsa? Here’s where I got creative.
Having recently attended the Calfornia Table Grapes Commission night out at Dodger Stadium, I remembered that they had served up a totally yummy grape relish for our Dodger Dogs. (I know, it sounds weird, but it really was delicious. Even Craig had no idea it was good for him. He just thought it was some new kind of hot dog relish. He didn’t know it was grapes until I told him on our ride home.) And no, I did not get to meet hottie chef Tyler Florence, because I got there late – stupid LA traffic!
I decided to make my salsa using grapes instead of tomatoes. What a huge hit! Everyone liked the sweetness of the salsa instead of the usual tang you get from tomatoes, but they still got the heat they were craving from the jalepeño. They left tons of tortilla chips because they started scooping the grape salsa onto their plates and just eating it plain or eating it with the grilled chicken. The only reason why I was able to take this picture of the grape salsa is because I had saved some just for Craig and I. Anyone want some stale leftover tortilla chips?
What’s wrong with the word sweet? I can’t tell you how many times my guy friends have told me about a date they were on or a woman that they were talking to that called them sweet. Somehow they got the idea that they were then banished, for all eternity, to a land where sexual satisfaction consisted solely of a pump bottle of hand lotion, a tube sock and a choice of either their left or right hand.
I understand that during those tender teenage years, the years when it seems like our ego’s are made up of a flimsy web of cotton candy, hearing the word sweet was akin to hearing someone tell you that you’re just like a brother to them. But we’ve grown up, we’ve matured, we’ve dated the guys that made us feel like rebels, like whores and the other woman. Now we want the guys who are sweet. Now we’re smart enough to know that the ‘sweet’ guys are the guys that will be there in the morning, have respectable jobs and that we can introduce to our friends.
Are there still some women out there who use the term ‘sweet’ to blow you off without hurting your feelings? Sure. But rest assured, there are more women using this term to let you know that they’re interested than those using it as a euphemism for calling you a lame douche.
Makes approximately 4 cups
- 2 Cups Red Table Grapes
- 2 Cups Green Table Grapes
- 1 Medium Jicama (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 1/4 Cup Jalepeños (diced fine – seeds removed if you want it less hot)
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Roughly chop red and green grapes into pieces (some larger and some smaller to get more texture). Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, add remaining ingredients.
Pulse until ingredients are a little larger than desired finished size.
Add in a handful of both red and green grapes and stir to mix them into the rest of the ingredients.
Pulse a few more times to further chop the grapes and get the salsa ingredients to the size desired.
Pour mixture into a bowl and add more black pepper to taste. Stir in remaining grape chunks. (You can also add salt to taste. I did not add any since I was serving this with salty tortilla chips.)
Garnish with some of the leftover grape bunches and serve.