Grape pickle. All the little bits.

Yes, we have no grapes
I haven’t got a picture of the pickle so here’s one of a steam train’s firebox door. What? I like trains.

I was reminded the other day that there are heaps of recipes that I make that never end up on the blog but should.  Recipes like this the one I’m writing up today often just seem to me to cover too small a thing and don’t exist as a meal in themselves, so I wonder if they’re interesting to other people.  But it’s not often that some component of a meal I’m making isn’t something else that I’ve made at an earlier date.  Even if it’s just a sandwich, if I’m at home there’s a pretty decent chance I’ve made the bread and some kind of pickle that’s going to go in it.

This came up because I was commenting on a blog that I read (and love), Foxs Lane.  Kate (not me, the other blogger) was asking about whether readers are picklers or preservers and I reeled off a list of things I pickle and preserve and while doing, realised that none of those recipes are on the blog.  So I thought I’d rectify that.

Andy and I make pizza at least once a week and weirdly this pickle only ever gets used as a pizza sauce for a cauliflower pizza.  That’s all I ever make it for.  It should be used on everything though because it’s great.  It’s sweet and sharp with a little spice and heat.  It’s good thing to make with those grapes that have just about had it and you’re secretly avoiding eating them.  Sorry grapes.

I’m a bit hazy on amounts here because I only every make it to taste and in random amounts so feel free to adjust to your palate and remember to taste as you go.  The only real recommendation I have here is to make sure your grapes are seedless because getting the seeds out is fiddly, time-consuming and damned annoying.

Grape pickle

Grapes – I generally use green rather than red but there’s no reason to
White wine or cider vinegar, I’d say ½ TBS per 150g?  As a starting point
Whole cumin seeds
A little garam masala
A little chilli powder
1 or 2 whole cloves (optional)

Quarter or roughly chop the grapes and put them in a pot with the rest of the ingredients and enough water to just cover them.  Give the mixture a little taste to suss out the vinegar/salt balance but don’t expect it to taste right yet because it won’t be at all sweet until the grapes cook down.  Cook over a medium heat, stirring often.  Don’t forget to check the seasoning and adjust as you go.  When the grapes are soft, fish out the cloves if you’re using them then mash everything with a potato masher or a fork.  If it’s still very runny let it cook down a bit more – you want a loosely spreadable consistency – but don’t let it get too jammy.  Although that’s nice too.

If you manage not to just use it all in one go put it in a clean jar and keep it in the fridge.  You could go through the rigmarole of sterilising the jar etc but it probably won’t hang around long enough to bother.  GOOD. WITH. CHEESE.  And on pizza.