Oh cheese, glorious cheese...yum! Did you guys see that ALL CHEESE wedding cake on Cup of Jo this week? My gawd! My jaw dropped ---does it get any better than that? Well it can. Even cheese needs a sidekick. Batman had Robin, Cousin Larry had Balki and Ren had Stimpy...so what should your cheese's wingman be? I vote for pickled grapes. Seriously, pickled grapes. They're delish. I ran across the recipe in Molly Wizenberg's book, "A Homemade Life," a few years back and these little orbs pickled with cinnamon and black pepper will rock your tastebuds. This last batch, I used some leftover muscat grapes and paired the finished product with some creamy Cypress Grove Purple Haze chevre---total foodgasm!
Molly Wizenberg also writes the food blog, "Orangette" which I love.
Pickled Grapes (adapted from "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg)
1 lb. seedless red or black grapes (I used muscat grapes and it came out fine.)
1 cup white wine vinegar (Make sure you're using the right kind of vinegar, please. It makes a big difference.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 (2 1/2 inch) cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Wash and dry the grapes. Take a sharp knife and poke a slit where the grape's "bellybutton" is. This will help the pickling juices get in there. Place the cut grapes in a large bowl.
2. In a medium pot, mix the white wine vinegar, sugar, brown mustard seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and salt together. Stir the ingredients up to make sure they're combined. Bring it to a nice boil. Give it one last stir, remove from heat and pour over the grapes.
3. Allow the mixture to cool to room temp and then ladle into clean jars with lids. Place the jars in the fridge and allow them to sit overnight.
4. Serve the grapes cold with your favorite cheese.
* The pickled grapes will keep for a week to a week and a half; however, the flavor will become more pronounced the longer it sits.