I love it when I wander into the produce section and stumble onto something really unusual. We always have our stand-by familiar Cavendish bananas, and I like the ubiquitous Gala as much as the next person. But a “witch finger” grape? That kind of jumped out at me.
And into my cart.
Because anytime you see a beautiful piece of produce, you should think, “that would make a great bowl.” The whole idea of a great bowl is to show off the colors and shapes of vibrant, nourishing plant foods. And of course, taste great.
Then I thought I should do a little research. These distinctive grapes are a new hybrid (not GMO) that was developed in 2002 in California. They are sweet and deep purple, with dense clusters on the vine and an elongated, finger-like shape. If you can’t find them, you can make this recipe with another purple grape, too.
These grapes taste like candy, and you will want to eat them by the handful. So it’s wonderful that purple grape skins are a source of antioxidant polyphenols and resveratrol, which prevent various cancers. They also have quercetin, which lowers cholesterol and inflammation, and even helps with your allergies. They are high in Vitamins A, K, and C. Considering how sweet they are, their high fiber content that keeps their glycemic index low, in the 50’s, so don’t shy away from them for their carbohydrates. Grapes are a superfood.
They just happen to be in season at the same time that we are getting exotic figs from California, so I thought I would put them both on display in a simple breakfast bowl.
All it took was some leftover brown rice, a bit of cinnamon, and a honey-lemon-rosemary black pepper drizzle. A sprinkle of chopped macadamias made the great bowl complete.
To make the honey drizzle, I just combined raw honey, cracked black pepper and a rosemary sprig, and warmed it gently, then stirred in some lemon juice.
I like the combination of hot, crunchy black peppercorns and sweet, floral honey, and the rosemary gives it a vibrant, piney note. Lemon cuts the heat and makes it pourable. Don’t be fooled, if you think of black pepper as mild, you must be eating stale pepper. This will be hot. To crush the pepper, I just put it in a plastic bag and hit it with the bottom of the pan until it was all broken in chunks.
For the fruit, I halved the grapes and quartered the figs. They were so beautiful that I really just had to arrange them to show them off.
Once it was all cut up and composed, I just drizzled the melted honey and pepper over the top, and it was ready to serve. You could do this with any leftover grain, really. Barley or quinoa spring to mind. Anything that goes with cinnamon and fruit.
“Witch Finger” Grape and Fig Bowl with Black Pepper Honey
Of course, you could use regular purple grapes for this, and switch out the brown rice for another grain.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large ripe figs
about 12 witch finger grapes
31/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
tablespoons raw honey
2 sprigs rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and zest for garnish
about 8 macadamias, coarsely chopped
Mix the brown rice with cinnamon, and place in your bowl. Top with fruit, arranging it to suit your mood.
Crack the black peppercorns with a pot. Place the honey, pepper and rosemary sprig in a small pot and warm on low heat. Stir in the lemon.
Drizzle the honey mixture over the bowl, and top with macadamias and lemon zest.
Eat and enjoy your great bowl.