Grape & Walnut Salad

Grape & Walnut Salad
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Make a bold salad statement with this unusual combination of greens, grapes and nuts. Their vivid flavors and contrasting textures make it a salad season standout. A well-made green salad often includes a few bitter greens, which provide a pleasantly sharp counterpoint to the mild lettuces. More creative cooks use those same greens in a starring role, playing their bold and pungent flavors against tart and sweet ingredients. The grapes and toasted walnuts in this salad provide contrasting flavors and textures to balance the greens, while the vinaigrette plays matchmaker to bring all those oversized tastes together.


  • 6 Tbsp. mild-flavored olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar, or 2 Tbsp. good quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (preferably a small-batch local honey with floral and fruity notes)
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch frilly kale, frisee or escarole
  • 1 medium head radicchio
  • 1 small head butter lettuce
  • 1 ½ cups seedless green grapes, rinsed and halved
  • 1 ½ cups seedless red grapes, rinsed and halved
  • ¾ cup walnut halves, toasted
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled coarsely


  1. Whisk together the first six ingredients to make the vinaigrette. If the honey is stiff and reluctant to dissolve, heat the mixture briefly in your microwave to loosen it. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  2. Rinse the kale or escarole and shake off any excess moisture, or spin it in a salad spinner. Strip the leaves from the stems and tear them into fork-sized pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Halve the radicchio lengthwise and cut out the core, then slice it crosswise into thin shreds. Add these to the kale.
  4. Separate the head of lettuce into individual leaves. Rinse and dry them. Tear the lettuce into fork-sized pieces and add these to the bowl as well.
  5. Add the grapes and half the walnuts to the bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette briefly to recombine the ingredients, then drizzle it over the salad ingredients and toss them until the greens and grapes are well coated with the vinaigrette.
  6. Transfer the salad immediately to one large or several small serving bowls. Garnish with the feta and the remaining walnuts and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Replace the honey with an alternative sweetener such as evaporated cane syrup and omit the cheese to make the salad vegan and lactose-free.

Other vinaigrettes work equally well with this salad, as long as they have a similar balance of sweet and tart. Try basing a vinaigrette on pomegranate syrup, for example, or balsamic vinegar that you've simmered in a small saucepan until it's thick and syrupy.

Feel free to vary the greens as summer progresses. Tart sorrel is hard to find, but it makes a fine addition. So do wild or cultivated dandelion greens.

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