What to do with a large quantity of seedless green grapes procured from the Berkeley Bowl Dent Shelf? I can never remember to eat grapes for snacking, but they are so cold and tasty when I do, that I couldn't very well leave them at the store. Especially because in truth, there was nothing very dented about this bundle of grapes. Sifting through the bunch and plucking each one from its stem, I found most to be perfectly in tact and deliciously sweet, too.
Seeing as how I had this new book of recipes just lying around, I figured I may as well go ahead and pickle the grapes with peppercorns and brown mustard seeds and cinnamon sticks as per Molly's instruction. I'm not sorry I did.
They made a nice little host gift yesterday at the Easter day party I attended. They stay nice and crisp, and pretty sweet, like little nuggets of high quality wine vinegar (even when you didn't start with any). I plan on eating my own jar with cheese and crackers and dumping generous spoonfuls into spinach salads.
You should definitely get your own copy of this book, but just to whet your whistle:
Pickled Grapes With Cinnamon and Black Pepper
Adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
This rendition of the recipe reflects what I had on hand...
1 lb. red or black or green grapes, seedless
1 cup white vinegar
splash of white cooking wine
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 t brown mustard seeds
1 t whole black peppercorns
1 (2 1/2 inch) cinnamon stick
1/4 t salt.
Rinse and dry grapes and pull them carefully from their stems. Ideally, some of the skin comes away when you do this to expose some of the flesh. If your stemming seems to leave the "belly button" too intact, use a sharp knife to remove the very end of the grape. You just want the brine to come into contact with the inner flesh of the grape. Put finished grapes into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then pour over the grapes waiting in the bowl. Stir to evenly combine. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, wash 2 pint-sized canning jars and their lids in warm soapy water. When the grapes have cooled, ladle them into the jars. Store in the refrigerator and allow to chill at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Use within one month.