The Power of Pickling May 21 2020



We want to spread our love of pickling, so we've decided to share two of our most loved, slightly more interesting recipes - pickled ginger grapes with a delicious grainy salad recipe to use them in, and the very versatile quick pickled red onions so you can try something different, learn a new skill, and be one step closer to being as pickle-obsessive as we are!

It might be more unusual to see fruit instead of vegetables in a pickling brine, but we love these pickled ginger grapes, the vinegar offsets their sweetness beautifully. Add them to grainy salads, cheese plates or serve with roast meats. You can even try popping one in your next cocktail!

Pickled Ginger Grapes:

(Makes 4 x 375ml jars)

1kg red grapes
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups red wine vinegar

In each jar:
2 allspice
4 peppercorns
1 slice ginger

 

METHOD:

First, sterilise your jars. Check out our guide here.

Wash the grapes and remove stems, then put into a bowl.

Make the brine by putting vinegar, sugar and water into a small non-reactive saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then increase heat and bring to a boil. Take off the heat.
 
Carefully take jars from the oven and let cool on the bench for a minute. When they are cool enough to handle, place spices in the bottom of each jar. Carefully pack in the grapes until you reach the shoulder of the jar, then pour over some hot brine, and let the grapes soften for a minute. They will shrink and you may be able to pack more in.

Remove air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on your work surface and sliding a butter knife or chopstick around the side of the jars to release any hidden air pockets. You may be able to add more grapes or brine after this. The brine should reach about 1cm from the top of the jar.

Wipe the rims of the jar with a clean cloth and seal. Heat process for 15 minutes. Store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Let sit for a month before eating.

 

Brown Rice Salad with Pickled Grapes and Plenty of Herbs

In a bowl put 2 cups cooked brown rice (or any other nutty grain like barley, freekah or even couscous). Add the zest and juice of half a lemon or lime, 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemons or limes and 1/4 teaspoon each cumin, sumac, chilli flakes and salt. Mix well. Add 1/3 cup of chopped pickled grapes, ½ cup chopped soft herbs, (parsley, dill, basil, coriander) and 1/3 cup toasted seeds or chopped toasted nuts. Drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil and a good slosh of the grape pickling liquid and gently combine. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

Serves 2 as a side dish with roasted cauliflower, falafel or grilled meats. Double or tripe if feeding more.

Quick Pickled Red Onions:

This quick red onion pickle is super simple and adds zing to your tacos, burgers, green salads and toasties. The recipe is so versatile, you can replace part or all of the onion with any thinly sliced vegetable. Great for using up all the bits and bobs in your fridge!

Make your brine by combining 1.5 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of caster or raw sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of water in a non-reactive saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add in 2 cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or 2 teaspoons of your choice of spices) and slowly bring to simmering point.Turn the heat off and let the brine cool and the spices infuse.

Thinly slice 1 red onion or about 300gm of vegetables of your choice, and place in a clean jar or glass container. Pour the room temperature brine over the onion, making sure all slices are submerged.

Cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.