1 pound seedless white grapes, washed in cold water and halved lengthwise

1 pound large seedless black grapes, washed in cold water and halved lengthwise (seedless red grapes are very bland and are not recommended for this dish)

the peel of 1 lemon grated without digging into the white pith beneath

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

the freshly squeezed juice of 4 oranges (more if necessary)

1. Place the halved grapes into a serving bowl. Add the lemon peel, sugar and orange juice to the bowl. If the juice is insufficient to cover the grapes, squeeze some more. Toss thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Do not keep overnight because the grapes may begin to ferment.

NOTE: If you cannot find seedless grapes, you can halve the grapes horizontally and extract their seeds. Hold each grape with the stem end facing up. Use a sharp paring knife, or preferably a small vegetable knife with a serrated blade, to cut the grape horizontally around its middle, cutting it all around, but not all the way through. With your fingertips, hold the upper half of the grape, and with your other hand twist off the bottom half. From the exposed center of one of the halves seeds will protrude; pick them out, and add both halves of the seeded grape to the bowl. Repeat the procedure until all the black grapes are done.

adapted from Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking


SERVE WITH:  Chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies

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