Friday, April 1, 2011

Pickled Grapes

No, this is not some sort of April Fool's Day joke- These things are real.

A couple of weeks ago, my 22 year old brother excitedly told me about a salad he tried at The Wild Grape Bistro in Salt Lake City, that contained Pickled Grapes. He said that they were A-mazing! and found a recipe that he wanted us to try when he came to visit me. He was here last week and one of the first things we did was make Pickled Grapes.
Making the pickled grapes was really easy. You combine vinegar, brown and white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, and whole cloves (I used ground since I didn't have any whole) and bring that mixture to a boil. Then you add chopped crystallized ginger and diced jalapenos. Next, the grapes are added to the spicy, vinegar-y bath to take an overnight soak.

That was the hardest part for my brother- leaving these grapes alone overnight so they could soak in all the spices and flavor.
He said that at The Wild Grape, there was a small hole in each grape, made with a toothpick or something, that helped the grapes suck up some of the spices and flavor from the vinegar mix. We didn't do that to the grapes, but next time I think I will, to help them pack even more of a punch.

The day that the grapes were ready we made a nice big salad for lunch. It was one of those hodge-podge, anything goes salads, where we just chopped things up and added them to the mix.
We used a base of baby spinach, spring greens and baby arugula. Then we added chopped bell peppers, chopped cucumbers and the pickled grapes. Next some poached chicken and roasted pepitas. We topped it off with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Goodness gracious! What a tasty salad. These things are spicy sweet, tart and vinegar-y, earthy from the spices. What a mix.

We had them on another salad the next day and the day my brother flew back home, he took a large plastic bag of these little guys to snack on, while on his travels through the airport and on his flights. I was wishing that I had more than a few leftover because I really wanted to experiment a little bit more with them- maybe turning them into some sort of salsa or in a different type of salad or something.

I guess that is a good excuse to make more!

Just a little note- my brother and I both thought that the red pickled grapes were more delicious than the green ones, but I am still glad we tried some of both.

Recipe for Pickled Grapes
* I used mostly red grapes, but green too
* I didn't have whole cloves, so I added about 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the vinegar/spice mixture
* I removed some of the seeds from jalapeno, but left the ribs when I diced them


Tracey said...

These sound really interesting! I've never heard of pickled grapes but they look awesome.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my site today - it made my day :)

Hazel said...

How interesting! What a unique idea. I'd love some of these on my salad!