Harissa-Spiced Steak with Grape and Preserved Lemon Salad (Photo courtesy California Table Grape Commission)

California Table Grape Commission: Harissa-Spiced Steak with Grape and Preserved Lemon Salad


FRESNO — The California Table Grape Commission was established by an act of the state legislature in 1967. Approved by a grower referendum in 1968, the commission has been affirmed through grower referenda every five years since its inception. The purpose of the commission is to maintain and expand markets for fresh California grapes and to create new and larger intrastate, interstate, and foreign markets. The cultivation of grapes began perhaps 8,000 years ago, and the fruit has been used as human food over history.

Californians have been cultivating grapes for more than two centuries. Today, 99 percent of U.S. table grapes are produced in California’s warm, dry climate that is ideal for grape growing. With 81 grape varieties grown, California grapes come in three colors-green, red, and black-and are in season from May through January.

California’s table grape growers are dedicated to giving consumers the highest quality grapes in the world, so the highest standards of production are applied to every vine grown. Grapes from California are cultivated, picked, packed, and transported with the greatest care to ensure the berries you enjoy arrive in just-picked condition: plump, juicy, and perfect. At a crop value of $2.14 billion in 2021, California table grape growers harvested 97 million boxes of grapes, sending them to consumers worldwide. Per capita consumption of table grapes in 2021 in the U.S. was 9.4 pounds per person with 37 percent of the crop exported to 56 export markets. There are over 330 table grape farming operations in California.

A 3/4 cup of grapes contains just 90 calories with no fat, no cholesterol, and virtually no sodium. Grapes are also a good source of vitamin K. Grapes of all colors are a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols. Grapes contain compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which may in turn protect against chronic diseases. Keep grapes on your weekly shopping list so that they’re handy for weeknight meals, a quick and refreshing dessert, or snack any time of day.

This Harissa-Spiced Steak with Grape and Preserved Lemon Salad delivers big flavor in an easy, quick way. Two North African ingredients, spicy harissa paste, a staple in Moroccan cuisine, and preserved lemon, a flavorful condiment with a mildly tart, but intensely lemony flavor, offer a zesty contrast to the refreshing, lightly dressed grape salad. Marinate the steak ahead of time-in the refrigerator during the day, overnight for more intense flavor, or even shortly before grilling.


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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, grated or minced

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided

1 tablespoon harissa paste*

1 1/2 pounds top sirloin, cut 1 1/2-2 inches thick

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon**

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups halved green or red California grapes

Serves 4.



Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, soy, 1 tablespoon of honey, and harissa in a glass pie plate. Add the meat and toss to cover. Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate, then marinate 2 hours or overnight.

Heat grill to high. Pat steak dry and grill 7-9 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer to cutting board and let stand while making the salad.

Combine the remaining olive oil and honey with lemon juice, preserved lemon, thyme, salt, pepper, and grapes. Slice steak into 1/2-inch pieces and divide between serving plates. Top with the grape salad and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 330 Calories; Protein 32 g; Carbohydrate 19 g; Fat 14 g (38% Calories from Fat); Saturated Fat 3.5 g (10% Calories from Saturated Fat); Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 440 mg; Fiber 1 g.

California Table Grape Commission

392 W. Fallbrook Avenue, Suite 101

Fresno, CA  93711

(559) 447-8350

(559) 447-9184 FAX


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Grape videos:  https://www.grapesfromcalifornia.com/grape-videos/

Have questions? Send an email to  info@grapesfromcalifornia.com or call (559) 447-8350.

*Harissa is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. Recipes vary among different countries, but most versions of this spicy paste include a blend of hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices, including caraway, cumin, coriander, and mint. Other common ingredients include tomatoes and rose petals. See:  https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-harissa-2355473

**Lemons preserved in salt and lemon juice are readily available from a number of retail sources. They are easy to make at home. To do so, cut 5 or 6 lemons into wedges, put them in a bowl and toss with 4 tablespoons of kosher salt. Sprinkle another tablespoon of salt over the bottom of a 1-quart Mason jar and add the lemons, pressing them down so that they all fit. Sprinkle another tablespoon of salt on top and fill the jar with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Top the jar with a piece of parchment, add the lid and ring and let cure for at least 7 days before using. It can take up to 30 days for the lemons to fully soften. Shake the jar daily to redistribute the salt and juice. Preserved lemons will keep for up to a year. See:


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