Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Pickled Grapes with Rosemary; Gingered Pickled Beets

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Summer might be the height of pickling and preserving season, but a recent trip to the market left me with plenty of fruits and vegetables that were just waiting to be put up. The inspiration for my fall pickling adventure came from Matt Lee and Ted Lee's Simple Fresh Southern, which includes a wealth of atypical pickling recipes that are ripe for the Thanksgiving table.

The first recipe that caught my eye was Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles. Pickled grapes might not be something that you'd normally associate with Thanksgiving, but here's some insight into my thought process: Green and grapes have always had a place in a cornucopia, the cornucopia is one of the most recognizable symbols of Thanksgiving, and I really like anything pickled. Pickled grapes seemed like a perfect predinner snack for my guests while they sipped their Celery Juleps.

And if I was making one pickle, why not make a second? These Gingered Beet Pckles sounded too good to pass up. So, there's about a week and a half left until Thanksgiving and my pickles are curing away on a cool, dark shelf. I gave them a little taste and they are well on their way. The grapes retained their sweetness and pop, but have adopted a pleasant acidity from the vinegar and a nice nit of chile. The beets still need some time to soften but the ginger had leant a warming spicy punch. With my cocktail and snacks already decided, planning the rest of the meal doesn't seem like such a daunting task.

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Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles

—makes 1 quart -
Adapted from Simple Fresh Southern by Matt and Ted Lee.

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