Many years ago in Italy, while indulging in a large rich meal, a magical combination of ooey gooey cheese and pickled grapes appeared on our table! We’d never experienced anything like this dish. Those little sweet, sour juicy bites have been on our minds ever since, so we set out to recreate that wonderful experience.
Yes, grapes can be pickled! Not only is this pickled grapes recipe super easy to make, but they also keep in the fridge for several weeks.
What Do Pickled Grapes Taste Like?
Pickled grapes have an intense flavor. As you bite into each grape, a burst of sweetness hits your tongue before the savory and sour flavors of the pickle brine follow. If a combination of sweet, sour, and savory floats your boat, you’ll love pickled grapes.
And if you’d like to try spicy pickled grapes, it’s easy enough to drop a dried chile pepper or two into the pickling brine. We particularly like to use Thai Bird Chiles.
How Long Do Pickled Grapes Last?
Pickled grapes last for two-three weeks. They don’t tend to go bad, but they do shrivel up and become unappetizing. We think they’ll be gobbled up before spoilage is ever an issue!
So What to do with Pickled Grapes? Or How to Use Pickled Grapes?
As mentioned above, pickled grapes are delicious with cheese! They seem like a classic with any cheese and charcuterie plates. We’ve also enjoyed them in many different ways:
- Sprinkle in green salads
- Add to pan juices
- Stir into grain salads
- Create a yogurt parfait by layering plain Greek yogurt, pickled grapes, and walnuts
- Serve as a side to roast or barbeque meats
- Enjoy as a dessert sprinkled over vanilla ice cream
- Or for your next martini swap out that pickled onion or olive for a pickled grape!
Grapes. This recipe can be made with any type of grape. We like to use a mix of green, red, and purple grapes. Keep in mind that different grape varieties have different levels of sweetness. Green grapes tend to be the sweetest, and this recipe has been created for green grapes. For grapes that are more sour feel free to increase the sugar in the recipe by as much as a cup.
Prepare grapes by washing well and removing all stems.
Vinegar. This recipe calls for red wine vinegar. We’ve also made it with apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar pickled grapes sound interesting, but as this recipe is written adjustments to the acid and sugar levels would need to be adjusted as balsamic vinegar is much sweeter and has lower acidity than other types of vinegar.
Pickling Spice. This recipe calls for our
Pickling Spice which is a blend of organic mustard seed, allspice, black pepper, cloves, dill, bay, star anise, coriander, juniper, and Thai bird chile. This combination of spices creates a deep and savory flavor.
Sugar. Use your favorite sugar for this recipe. If wishing to create vegan pickled grapes, make sure to use vegan sugar.
Salt. The amount of salt in this recipe may seem like a lot, but it is needed to balance out the sour and sweet flavors.
This pickled grape recipe is a quick refrigerator pickle. The technique for creating refrigerator pickles is super simple.
It’s a straightforward three-step process that is easily mastered. And once you learn it, you’ll be able to whip up and create pickles anytime you have produce and an extra 10-15 minutes of time.
Prepare Your Produce
- Wash your grapes.
- Remove grapes from stems. There is nothing worse than biting into a stem.
- Pickles can be cut in half if you wish. We’ve found they do not last as long in the fridge if cut in half.
Create Your Pickling Liquid or Brine
- Sometimes the pickling liquid used for refrigerator pickles is called a brine, but it really is just a flavored vinegar. This pickling liquid is an important way to add flavor to refrigerator pickles–or quick pickles as these pickles do not rely on brining or fermentation for flavor.
- When creating the pickling liquid the vinegar fumes can be quite overwhelming, so heat your pickling mixture over low and only long enough to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Bring It All Together!
- Place grapes in jars.
- Pour pickling liquid over grapes.
- Refrigerate overnight.
That’s it! Fifteen minutes of effort on your part will reward you with two jars of deliciousness.
Quick Pickled Grapes Recipe
Wash grapes and remove from the stems. Grapes can be cut in half, but that is not required.
Place grapes in jars or other glass containers. This recipe will make 1 ½ - 2 pints.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together water, vinegar, pickling spice, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
Pour pickling liquid over grapes. There may be extra liquid. Do try to add all the pickling spice even if all the liquid does not fit.
Use a knife or chopstick to get rid of any air bubbles and to push spices down into the grapes.
Let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least overnight in the refrigerator.