pickled grapes with cinnamon and black pepper

Wow, people, just wow. I expected a few baby squish, cow country and dishwasher-crazed compatriots out there to squeal with excitement when we shared our news but nothing, nothing like this. You are the nicest group of readers a girl could ever hope for and you make it so much fun to share bits of our lives, and tiny kitchen, with you. Thank you.

purple and black grapes

So when you tell people you done got knocked up, the first question they ask is when are you due (September 22nd, but that’s the fourth date we’ve been given so I don’t get too attached to it), followed by how are you feeling (pretty darn good, thank you, but I think I need another nap) and then whether it’s a boy or a girl (think we’ll leave it as a surprise), if you have morning sickness (um, no, not a lick, please don’t hate me) and then if you’re craving anything weird, like pickles and ice cream.

The problem is, my cravings of pickles and ice cream are what health insurance companies call a preexisting condition, as in, nice try but we’re unimpressed. Heck, we’ve told more than one person that we’re moving to the East Village just to be closer to The Pickle Guys, and the smart ones knew that we weren’t joking. (Other food-related reasons: proximity to pirogis, two farmers markets, one Trader Joes, my friend Molly, who makes killer dry-rubbed ribs and quite possibly the best homemade doughnut I’ve ever had at Back Forty on Avenue B. It’s evil, I tell you.)

black and purple grapes

But there is one thing that didn’t much do it for me before that I cannot stop eating. That even the thought of right now makes me regret chowing through yesterday’s batch so quickly. That if left alone with a freshly-washed bundle, I can chomp my way through it before Alex can look up and say “you realize that was a two pound bag, right?” and then I “uurp?” and quickly eat the last four, because really, it was a little past the point to feign moderation.

trimming the belly buttons

Yes, people, I am obsessed with grapes. Unseasonal, dubious origin, and with a politically incorrect number of food miles on their back, grapes. Do you think it’s just that I miss wine? Is this a fixation that will pass? One can only hope. I haven’t had my teeth this purple-stained since, like, December.

mustard seeds

I do know this, however: When I saw the recipe for pickled grapes in Molly Wizenberg’s first, wonderful book, A Homemade Life, I knew that this was my recipe to try at home (along with the cream-brasied cabbage and buttermilk vanilla bean cake and avocado radish salad, not to mention her cinnamon buns which sadly didn’t make it in). I remember hearing about these before her wedding, and was fascinated. You see, Molly’s Brandon and my Alex are cut from the same brine-loving cloth: they are both obsessed with pickles. There’s nothing too puckering, soused or sour for them, and although I’m newer these (non-cucumber) brining ways, I have quickly made up for lost time, pickling carrots and cole slaws and coins of cucumbers in a potato salad and red onions and roasted red peppers.

cinnamon sticks

But I had yet to make the leap to pickled fruit, at least somewhat due to my vision of pickles including garlic, dill and an abundance of salt. But these pickled grapes are a whole other animal, a dessert pickle if you will,brined with a more delicate white wine vinegar, a good amount of sugar, a cinnamon stick and just enough mustard seed and black peppercorns to keep it on this side of a fruit compote. After a couple days, the grapes firm up and get a little punch to them, while remaining something I could imagine serving with toothpicks at a cheese course. Or you know, standing in the kitchen in my stretchy-waist yoga pants, willing all of those pots and pans to pack themselves. We’re all class around here these days.


One year ago: Peanut Sesame Noodles

Want to come hang out at The Pioneer Woman Ranch with Ree and me? Ree is organizing a get together for local fans of Smitten Kitchen on Saturday, April 25 at the Lodge on her ranch. And by “get together” I mean that I have been talked into demonstrating how to make some of my favorite New York-style grub for a roomful of people. Which should be entertaining as I’ve never demoed anything in my whole life. Ree is holding a contest today until 6 p.m. in which five people (plus their choice of guest) who leave the comment “Enter Me” on this post will be randomly picked to fill the demonstration seats. Not local? Fear not. Ree and I will be posting all about the day on our sites, so you won’t really miss a thing. Except for me fumbling around and trying to pretend that a grape-induced pot belly is a “baby bump”. [Contest Details!]

Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper
Adapted from A Homemade Life, where it was adapted from a Susan Kaplan recipe

I know it takes some time to mentally get around the idea of pickled grapes — heck, even my pickle-loving husband was frightened of them, not that I think a guy who eats pickled watermelon reserves the right to judge — but even if you are a pickle-phobe, I believe these grapes in a syrupy vinegar could convert you. Their flavor profile is more dessert than dinner. The brine is sweet, and the pucker is at a minimum, but with just enough to get a zing of flavor from the pale presence of vinegar that you know you’re eating something spectacular.

Makes about 3 cups

1 pound red or black grapes, preferably seedless
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (hm, mine might have been yellow? I was unconcerned.)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 (2 1/2-inch) cinnamon stick, cut in half (if using two jars, otherwise leave whole)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse and dry the grapes, and pull them carefully from their stems. Using a small sharp knife, trim away the “belly button” at the stem end of the grape (and try not to eat all of the belly buttons at once, m’kay?), exposing a bit of the flesh inside. Divide the grapes among 2 pint-sized clean, dry canning jars.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then you have two choices. The original recipe has you pour the bring mixture over the grapes and let them cool together. I personally prefer a cold brine on certain foods, not wanting to wilt the fresh fruit, so I cool the brine completely before pouring it over. The former will yield a more tender pickle, and it will pick up the brine’s flavor faster. The latter will take a bit longer to souse, but the grapes will stay more firm. Both will be delicious.

Once cool, chill the grape and brine mixture in their jars in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or overnight. Serve cold, perhaps at a cheese course, and I say you should let people figure out for themselves what they’re eating.

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264 comments on pickled grapes with cinnamon and black pepper

  1. Catherine

    Yum. These look great. I’ve got a pickle loving kid I’ll have to make these for.

    Congratulations on the pregnancy. That’s great news.

  2. Winnie

    I haven’t done pickled grapes, but I have done pickled peaches. These sound great! I may wait and try local scuppernogs though come summer.

    Try pickled peaches, too if you can get good peaches in your farmer’s market.

    Congrats again on the forthcoming baby!

  3. I was a bit flummoxed by that recipe in the book, and it still sounds …interesting. I bet my boyfriend would love them, though. Thanks for the tip about warm vs cool brines.

  4. Amanda

    Deb Deb Deb!

    Yum city! I will be taking the first train there with a bag of grapes this weekend!

    How awesome all of those comments were on the big news blog. I hope that was some heart-warming reassurance that you’ve got a good thing going here. You’re blog is wonderful- a regular treat- and I can’t wait for YOUR first book!

    All the best to you and Alex!!

  5. Zahra

    Oh my. I have a super pickle-loving husband too and I’ve tried about everything pickled. Ever. Pickled garlic anyone?

    However, I’ve noticed that some pickles are best when left for looooong periods of time, and for some, it doesn’t matter how long you leave them, it almost always tastes the same.

    So, being the pickled grape connoisseur of the day, would you think the 8 hours to overnight stay is plenty for the optimal pickled grape or should it be a tad shorter or longer??

    And of course congrats on the baby!

    1. deb

      Zahra — If you like things super-pickled, you should definitely leave it in the fridge longer. Things will always get more pickled as time passes. These will pucker/wrinkle a bit after a couple days.

  6. I have to confess that I’ve never had this before but since I love grapes and eat them absolutely every day (yes I really do – they’re my dessert at lunch) then I think I’m going to have to try it!

    ps – hope that baby’s doing well. And I hope you’ll write updates too. My husband and I are in the process of TTC too so I love hearing about pregnant people. :)

  7. this recipe is intriguing to say the least. i like the idea a lot. have you tried these in sandwiches? whole wheat, bacon, gruyere and picked grapes!
    speaking of gruyere, just want to make sure you know about the east village cheese shop. they have a wide array of domestic and imported cheeses at cheap prices and it’s one of my favorite nyc places.

  8. These are so interesting sounding, and they don’t sell them at the Pickle Guys…

    I do recommend you try the pickles at Ippudo and Momofuku if you haven’t yet. Good stuff, now that you’re going to be in the neighb.

    There are so many joys to living in the East Village; it was a good choice.

  9. I didn’t didn’t have one tiny bit of morning sickness either when I was pregnant, so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that! I was proud of it! I actually only “got sick” one time while I was pregnant, and it was only because of something I ate at a resturant because the hubby got sick too. I am super excited about you and PW! Yall are going to be a force to be reckoned with when you get together!

  10. Grapes. Pickles. Pickled Grapes. I’ve never thought of those two words together. Seems awfully strange, but I trust your tastebuds so we will boldly venture into new territory with this one!

  11. I cannot tell you the number of pounds of grapes I consummed during my first pregnancy! They were so refreshing and I craved them like crazy (and I don’t drink wine, so I don’t think it had anything to do with missing wine). I also loved watermelon. Watermelon was out of season and very expensive, but I HAD to have it!

    Have fun at Ree’s kitchen! Sounds like a great time!

  12. Roger

    It would be great if your articles could have a “NY dining” tag when you mention a good place to eat up there. I only get to go to NY once every couple of years and I am getting tired of Tads Steaks and Applebys… ;)

  13. beth

    I will definitely be making this, but will have to do it while my husband is out of the house. He won’t even let me sit next to him while I eat a salad with vinegar based dressing, let alone boil a pot of brine on the stove.

  14. Hi, I am brand new to Smitten Kitten but I will be back. I just got the news from the Pioneer Woman’s website that you get to go to Oklahoma to the Ranch.. Wow I am so jealous. I am sure you will have a wonderful time. WEll cant chat I saw a couple of wonderful looking recipes on your site I need to go and read. Thanks, and have a fun trip to Oklahoma. I lived in Oklahoma for 4 years and loved it.
    Safe Travels.

  15. doughnuts you say? and in the east village? well, this is sort of an obvious choice, but don’t forget about doughnut plant!

    as for pickled grapes… let’s just say that i’m intrigued!

  16. Lauren

    I’m not pregnant and I LOVE pickles and drink pickle juice. My husband is beyond disgusted. I have to try these. No telling all the wierd things I’ll want when I’m pregnant.

  17. ….hmmm…. looks interesting….. pickled grapes sounds like an oxymoron but your description sounds nearly convincing that these could be good. so you say they should be served alone perhaps with a cheese? could this be treated like a jam or spread? or not so much?

    congrats on the bun in the oven and have fun with P.W! can’t wait to read about it

  18. Cindy

    Super news! A few days late with the congratulations on apartment, trip to OK and of course baby :). Being a tax accountant, I was a little tied on Wednesday with the obvious last minute stuff. Also craved watermelon and grapes during pregnancy and Sweet Tarts of all things–couldn’t get enough of them.

    Will be trying the pickled grapes for a dessert cheese board I think. Can’t quite get my head around picked watermelon. It is so perfect just as it is. Keep up the great work. Love your blog.

  19. a pregnant friend of mine has had severe cravings for cherries, so your grape fixation doesn’t seem *too* strange. there must be certain vitamins the body needs and it just tells you how to get them! too bad our bodies don’t think about what’s in season…

  20. A friend of mine once came home from New York with a big jar of spicy pickles from The Pickle Guys and proceeded to make spicy pickle martini’s for everyone…and then I died from yum. I bet the brine from your recipe would make a great mixer?! Guess you’re gonna have to wait a few months to find out? Sorry I mentioned it.

  21. ann

    And to think back to those many months (possibly years!) when I invited you to a pickle party and you were less than enthused ;-) Glad that Alex has finally worked the pickle magic on you!

  22. I think the Zuni cafe in San Francisco does pickled zantes too! I read their phenomenal cookbook whenever I have to time to steal.

    This look great. What will you pair them with? I was think some stinky bleu. Mountain gorganzola or dolcelatte?

    Riding my bike to work today I was thinking of making a brandade (salt cod) sandwich and pairing it with pickled red onions. But these pickled grapes may be a perfect pairing for salt and cream. wow. I love how the blog web of ideas grows.

  23. Amanda

    Oooh this looks great! It reminds me of the pickled watermelon rind my grandma used to make! Ohh I miss that stuff. I tried to make it once and it didn’t turn out as well. Maybe I should try again.

  24. I love grapes too- I love your comment about how they are unseasonal and politically incorrect- but I hear you. Sometimes you just need a few grapes (or strawberries in our house).

  25. Yholl

    as a kid, my brothers and i used to eat green grapes on toasted bread that had been spread with peanut butter. the peanut butter holds the grapes on and the combined flavor and crunch is great! i was thinking you might like it.

  26. These look so delicious! Have you ever tried Nigella Lawson’s pickled limes recipe? I flip past it every few years and have never made enough space in my freezer to give it a go. Hmm, maybe now that I have an extra freezer…

    I have to confess to having a pre-existing pickle condition myself. Hell, I started drinking pickle juice when I was, like, 5. My mom would get sooo mad at me. A swig of pickle juice, followed by a handful of dark chocolate chips = HEAVEN.

  27. Usually when I read your post, the pictures and my imagination allow me to visually taste (are you following me here?) what you’ve made. This time, no. I can’t even guess what pickled grapes with cinnamon and black pepper would taste similar to. Very interesting combination.

    Oh, and be glad that what you’re craving is grapes. I craved fried shrimp, and not even good fried shrimp…. any old fried shrimp. Ate it about twice a week for 9 months…. talk about a baby bump…. on my butt!

  28. i live no WHERE near Ree A.K.A. Pioneer Woman or I’d enter that contest RIGHT NOW! I’m living in NJ! RATS! Hope you have some fun fun out there in the land of Oklahoma! Is Alex your dishwasher coming along? I read where Ree has something like a bazillion dishwashers up at her Lodge so he could come and take the pix!

  29. Hannah

    This is so reassuring that I am not the only person who can consume POUNDS of grapes (red, black, purple, green – any type) in a sitting. Though I’m 19 and definitely not pregnant, so I’m not sure how that reflects on me…

  30. Congratulations Deb! I wish you have a very healthy pregnancy and that your life as a mother is full of happiness and joy. Thanks for these great recipes!

  31. Susan

    I’d have NEVER thought to pickle grapes, but what a great thing to do. Gads..I’m wondering what they’d be like in a chicken salad or a waldorf salad or as a surprise in a regular summer fruit salad. I know it couldn’t be done easily, but champaign grapes pickled and used as a garnish would be uh..different, but in a cool way! Who’d have the patience for that? Not me.

    Cravings? I had a little calcium thing going that needed Mac and cheese and, of all things, a particular grocery store brand of Double Dutch Chocolate ice cream. These cravings, I guess, were required for the son that’s now 6’4″. I still like the M&C, but the ice cream I can’t face to this day!

  32. Too funny, pickled grapes sounded completely odd to me, until you said pickled watermelon(!), which my grandmother has made and served at every holiday dinner since the beginning of time. And I’ve always really liked them, even though I’m not a big fan of watermelon. Since I love grapes, it looks like you can count me in on the pickled grape party, why not!

  33. Kathy

    I just found your blog through Pioneer Woman (don’t you just love Ree?)
    I too, love grapes. Here’s my way of eating them. FROZEN!!! Wash them, pick from the stem and throw them in any container you wish (I like to use a blueberry or strawberry container). Oh boy!! They are so good frozen! Especially during the hot summer months when you are pregnant. Try them this way, I have a feeling you’ll really like them this way.

  34. oh! i am such an idiot! i skimmed over the baby news because i was so excited about your cute new home! so here are my belated congratulations – congratulations!!!! so exciting!!

  35. tinnie

    Oh my what do we have here! Sounds very interesting! I have to say to be preggers in NYC has got to be the best. I can’t wait to see your baby bump! September is the best time to have a baby! Love love all your recipes :)

  36. Diane in Cincinnati

    Wow, I have a few busy days at work and can’t check your site and I miss all the news! Congratulations on the little bun!! You are soooo lucky to not have morning sickness! Good luck with the move! Can’t wait to read about your visit to PW – I am so jealous you get to stay in the lodge!

    Diane in Cincinnati

  37. I’m pregnant right now too, currently in the third trimester (due July 2!) and this pregnacy I have totally craved grapes as well. They are so refreshing without being at all heavy like some of the other sweets i crave. I’m not so sure about pickling them though – I like them sweet for a reason. Are they still sweet? To tell you the truth, I’ve never had anything other than regular from a jar pickles. Boring, I know. I have to second Kathy, comment #44, about freezing grapes. They’re absolutely perfect that way, plus it makes you eat them a little slower! But only a little. ;)

  38. tj

    …You know, usually I shy away from stuff like this but I too love grapes and by love, I mean LOVE ’em… I’m gonna give this a try and thank you for sharing!

    …Btw, you going to the ranch with a bun in your oven is only gonna start Ree a lactatin’ ya know…*hee,hee* :o)


  39. jean

    If you could deliver on September 20, I would be forever grateful. And, my name goes for a girl and boy with just a minor spelling change! Totally up to you of course.

  40. rt

    I am 11 weeks pregnant and also LOVING grapes right now. It’s the green ones that do it for me. and pineapple. I have no idea why, but am grateful it isn’t too odd. Many blessings!!

  41. Congrats! I’m due August 14 and people keep asking me if I crave pickles and ice cream, and I do, boy do I ever, but separately, not together.
    I’ve lost my taste for chocolate though (will I ever get it back?)

  42. Candace

    I totally heart you. I just found out I’m pregnant as well, and I can’t TELL you how mouth-wateringly divine these sound.

    My husband and I made plans tonight to go out to dinner, and then to the grocery store, and he asked me outright in an email just now if I was planning on falling asleep in the middle of the store.

    More nap, please.

  43. How did I miss that you were pregnant?
    I read that you were moving to the LES, I read that you were going to become a Southern Belle with Ree Drummond, but a baby? That I missed.
    I better get a new pair of reading glasses.
    That’s a lot of news for one post! Congrats!

  44. Barry and Helene

    thank you for the cookies. ALL the cookies. they are so wonderful and make us both (and all our friends and relations) smile ALOT. thank you

    by the way, if anyone is going to make homemade oreos, try adding a few spoons of shredded coconut to the filling mmmmmmmmMMMMmmmmmm.

    thanks again for all the cookie recipies. thank you!

  45. Courtney

    OMG, Deb. I have to say, I think we are pregnancy twins. I’m also due September 22, feel great (tired, but no morning sickness), not finding out the sex, and my one real craving? Fruit, specifically – grapes. Um, not pickled though, thanks. I prefer mine reeeaaaally cold, and freshly rinsed. Thanks for reminding me – the last of the bunch is in the fridge and I need a snack.

  46. hahahaha…apparently I’ve had something pickled i was sending this recipe, or so I thought, to my partner who eats grapes all year round and by the buckets full…cant wait to try this!

  47. Barbara

    I have been reading for a good long while now, and not commented. I read your news and did not have the chance to comment then, but a great big congrats!

    I am so jealous that two of my favorite bloggers are meeting, and I can only be there in spirit! I love both your sites!

    Congrats again to you and Alex! Glad to hear you are feeling so well.

  48. I loved the pickled carrots (though they were moved to the back of the fridge, so I’m sure I have some left — bad me!), so these sound right up my alley. I have a much larger mason jar that might be big enough to hold the entire recipe. Oh, unseasonable grapes in Boston, I will find and brine you!

  49. tanja

    Wait a second, a little one? I missed that in your last blog. I was so excited that you get to visit Pioneer Woman,and that you now have that miracle thingy , the dishwasher, so much so I actually wanted to congratulate you, and especially Alex, on .. well, the dishwasher. But hey, baby is better, much better, it’s great. Congratulations! I hope your cravings result in many more interesting recipies.

  50. Bridget

    I’m wandering over from the PW site for the first time…how exciting that you guys get to cook for us. : ) Can’t wait to see all upcoming posts. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. I’d recco you stay away from the prolapsed cow thing.

    Congrats on your little one & the move! I’m not up on things of course – really you didn’t have a dishwasher before!??!? GASP! Especially a good thing with little one on the way. :) And you’ll love Trader Joe’s! I’ve come to rely on it quite a bit. We’ve got two little guys running around…life is sweet & chaotic. : )

    Look forward to checking our your site more.
    Best wishes from the Pacific NW

  51. Congrats on the baby news. Such excitement. Like visiting PW wasn’t enough good news to send our way! I entered her contest as I live just “a stone throw away” in Kansas City. I am hoping for some good computer karma. I want to attend the Oklahoma Soiree. I’ll try to eat more spring greens to offset your consumption of imported grape. Take care and stay healthy.

  52. Kate

    Congrats on the little bun in the oven!

    I love grapes and pickles, can’t wait to make this. Could you cut the grapes up in slices like little pickle rounds? Or would they become to tender?

    I love frozen grapes in the summer, it is one of my go to frozen desserts! If you have not tried it, very cool and refreshing.

    Best wishes to you and Alex. Have a great time at the ranch!!

  53. Nicole

    Just need to throw in my best wishes too. I have a little guy now who is 15 months old, and I loved being pregnant. Hope you have a fantastic journey to mamahood!

    I adore your site. Thank you!

  54. Bethany

    Oh, wow. It sounded gross at first, because I’m a kosher dill kind of girl, but I think I may try this recipe when I visit my parents in May.
    Congratulations on the baby… I’m so excited for you!
    If you’re looking for the best pickle combo, look no further than kosher dills and medium cheddar. Take a bite of each and enjoy!
    I do believe that food is the reason my dad has problems with kidney stones a few years back. Used to eat it all the time… Mm…

  55. tamar

    First of all, mazel tov on all of your news, baby foremost of course. Secondly, now that you’re living in the East Village you’ll be right in the neighborhood for the LES pickle festival, which if memory serves me correctly, occurs right around your due date in September! Went there last year and was introduced to pickled grapes and (even better, in my opinion) pickled cantaloupe!
    I am a devoted reader but since I never usually comment, I will take this opportunity to say thank you: though my husband and I have since moved to Chicago, home of cheaper rents and larger kitchens, when I started reading sk I too was living in a five-floor walk-up in Manhattan with a half-size oven and no counter space except an IKEA kitchen cart, and your posts gave me the confidence to try cooking things I probably never would have attempted otherwise, (a lattice top pie during last year’s June heat wave, for example). So thank you not only for the delicious recipes, beautiful pictures and amusing posts, but also for your outlook, which I have carried with me even now that we have a full size oven :-). All my best!!

  56. Tanya

    I just this minute found you, thanks to PW. Talk about the sky parting and the angels singing. Can’t wait to see what you two ladies concoct together. This is a wonderful place to visit, and you can be guaranteed I’ll return!!!!

  57. Jelena

    I was cut off from the actual world for a few days, but congratulations! I am so happy for both of you, hope the lack of morning sickness keeps up. :)

  58. I love pickles. I love grapes. I am going to take your word that these taste good because I also just can’t even imagine the taste. Oddly the only craving I had whilst pregnant was milk. Whole milk. I hate milk, can’t stand the taste normally. During my 2nd trimester it tasted wonderful. Went away by my 3rd trimester and I still to this day can’t stand the stuff. Maybe if I get pregnant again I’ll get a pickled grape urge…now that I know hey exist.

  59. Andrea

    Oooh, yum! I love pickles of all kinds and can’t wait to make these. I made pear pickles once (with mint and lemon), and ate them all before any one else tasted them so they think I’m crazy for my fruit pickle love. Now, I have proof there are others who like fruit pickles! And, congrats on the baby!

  60. sarah

    YUM. I love pickled things, especially when pregnant (which I am as well). Is it weird that I have been waiting ever since you guys got married to see what you would cook when you got pregnant? CONGRATS!

  61. These look so good I think maybe I should go pee on a stick.

    My great grandmother used to make a sweet watermelon pickle and I always like it – now I have a pickling urge.

    My daughter was a New Years baby as well (born on her due date – September 23) and I remember eating a fat ton of grapes. Also lemonade. I’m guessing girl. Boy mamas tend to crave meat.

  62. Rachel

    Hi Deb,
    I just found your website through the Pioneer Woman, how fun that you two will be joining forces soon! I wanted to tell you congratulations on your new baby, and that I laughed out loud at the ultrasound picture! I have three little girls and have been through my share of ultrasounds, but never have caught the baby in such an adorable pose! That baby looks awfully comfortable in there! SO sweet.

    Take care!

  63. I know I’m adding to a very loud chorus, but CONGRATS!!! My brother and SIL are expecting at the end of July, so baby thoughts have been in my brain. :-)

    Best wish to you both, and I”m dying to see what your solutions are for homemade baby food! :)

  64. OMG! I’ve been reading you forever and JUST realized that the name of your blog is not Smitten Kitten, but Smitten Kitchen. LOL. Okay, that does make a little more sense.

    Congrats on your move. Expect to see great things coming out of your new kitchen.

  65. Chris

    Congratulations on your great news. When I was pregnant, I loved gobo (japanese pickled burdock root). My son is now 7 and he loves it, too. Me, not so much… Like you, I had no morning sickness, just felt really really tired.

    And I love Smitten Kitchen. It’s a guilty pleasure to see all the amazing food and wish I had time to cook.

  66. Sweet lord, woman, did you see how many people are hopping up and down all in a twist to come see you in Oklahoma? Awesome.

    And congratulations about the bun. Happy, happy, happy!

  67. Helen

    I had the same grape craving when I was pregnant, mostly toward the end of the pregnancy. I like grapes but when I was pregnant, I absolutely loved them and couldn’t get enough. It was like crack. Now that I am no longer pregnant, grapes just taste eh. So my advice to you is EAT and ENJOY as much as you can before your taste buds change. I almost want to get pregnant again so I can experience that again! I can’t wait to see you on Pioneer Woman.

  68. What a great thing to crave–grapes, who would’ve thought? I don’t quite know what to think about pickled grapes. I’m intrigued. I want to try them. Yes, that’s it…I’m intrigued to the point where I have to try them!

  69. Hello! Got here from thepioneerwoman. Totally loved your site + bookmarked it straightaway.
    Made this for my dad when I woke up.
    Waiting for the testing session tomorrow! =)

    Congrats on the move + your baby.

    Lots of sunshine from Singapore!

  70. Jane

    Congratulations on your new life (literally)! What an exciting time for you. That first flutter of movement you will feel from your precious “passenger” will bring a smile of wonder to your face, nothing else is comparable. Like your Alex and Molly Brandon I have a love of anything pickled so this is a must do soon recipe. I can taste them already and think I will be in bliss. Thank you!

  71. Sue

    What a neat recipe. Thanks for sharing…congrats on your news! If you haven’t tried Wickles pickles, you definitely should. They are sort of sweet and spicy…a definite treat!


    Wonderful News. Sue is right, Wickles Pickles, pepper rings and gr pepper strips are great. Also, I used to make Dilled Beans. Think you might like those too. Or at least Alex will.

  73. sara

    ok… 16 weeks pregnant here but i can’t ‘blame’ that on my love of all things pickles or grapes. really looking forward to trying this.

    are there things you are cooking up that are good ‘pregnancy foods’? please share!!

  74. Southern Gal

    Haven’t commented in a while. I’m a skimmer so I missed the baby news while reading all the new house stuff. Anyway Congratulations to you both!!

    Love your site and am bummed I don’t live near PW so I can come see both my favorite blog cooks. :(

  75. TheKitchenWitch

    Just found you a couple of days ago and love the site. Congrats on the little one! I had never thought to pickle grapes, but I love anything in brine. I can’t wait to give these a try. Don’t feel guilty about the grape craving–I ate so much watermelon with both pregnancies that I thought the girls would come out green with seeds inside.

  76. monique

    Congrats on the new kitchen!! and the baby! I know this isn’t a baby blog but keep us a little in the loop… please. Mine are have just entered teen years and found that this baby thing just keeps morphing into something newer and better! Thank you for sharing

  77. Mo

    I was crazy for grapes while pregnant with my September baby (boy) who had an often revised due date as well (ended up showing up on the 21st) !
    He is now crazy for grapes and I’m excited to see how he will like these.
    Thanks and congrats!

  78. Karen

    Those grapes look excellent. Western NY is among other things, Concord grape country, so around about September (when apparently you’ll be doing other things!) I plan to make this recipe. I already love chutneys, so this is just the next step.

    By the way, when I was pregnant with my now 18 yr old, I would absent mindedly eat the parsley garnishes off of the plates of friends and relations. Turns out that its full of iron, and thats what my body apparently knew it needed.

    Mazel Tov!

  79. OMG!! Congratulations on the new little one! What a joy!

    Also congrats on going to the ranch with Ree and MM! You guys will have a great time! Can’t wait to see the pics!

    And the grapes! Never heard of pickled grapes, but leave it to you! They do look rather intriguing!

    Best wishes!

  80. Melissa

    Hi Deb
    This recipe is intriguing and although I am interested in trying it out, there is no alcohol consumed in our house. Do you think these would be okay with some other type of vinegar, and if so, is there one you would recommend?

  81. freckleface

    This is quite possible the ONLY time I wish I lived out in the middle of nowhereland, so that I can be deemed “local”! You two gals are my favorite food bloggers (I check the sites daily for new grub and life stories) man oh man….There best be photos and videos!! Congrats on the stork visit!

  82. MSJN

    If you like pickled grapes, why not also try pickled blackberries. I made some last year during our blackberry glut, based on recipes from some 1940s/1950s preserving books. Essentially you combine spiced vinegar (vinegar+bay+cinnamon+pickling spice) + sugar, with the blackberries cooked in it very briefly. Quick, easy and absolutely the loveliest thing that you can imagine.

  83. josephine Brady

    Congrats on the new home and the coming baby. I subscribed to your site a while ago and love your recipes and photos. Re: the pickles – cherries are great too. Have had pickled black cherries with pate in a good restaurant, they were lovely.

  84. Nan

    As soon as I read about your upcoming visit with PW and her contest I entered…and then I read that I was 12 hours too late! I would have GIVEN you/PW my children, my husband, my retirement fund – you NAME IT – to be there (not my only grandson Max though, he is the only thing I would keep) but I was, alas, too late and I’ve been depressed as hell about it all morning. So depressed that I forced myself to make another batch of the chocolate-caramel crackers – which makes THREE batches this week alone! So, when are you and Molly going to do a “get-together?” I would give up eating to be at that gathering! xo, Nan

  85. Congrats!:) What wonderful news!:)
    Those pictures of the grapes belong in the met, I love the colors and the dusty quality of the skin just GORGEOUS!

  86. Oh, and you ARE right! Back forty’s doughnuts are so amazing, i love the rhubarb sauce, it is INSANELY good, like worth every wonderful tasting calorie!~!:)

  87. Rose Marie Heard

    Congrats on the new baby. I was wondering how long these would keep if I wanted to give them to someone.
    I haven’t pickled anything before, but I have learned to do freezer jams. My blueberry was more like preserves though. I am diabetic and learned out of self defence. When I do these with a real sugar substitute I will let you know how they turned out.
    I love you site, the pictures, and of course the receipes.
    Keep up the good work.

  88. deb

    Melissa — There are only trace amounts of alcohol in wine vinegars, and they get cooked out when you boil it. However, I am sure you can try it with another mild vinegar, of course every time I come up with one — champagne, sherry — I realize that they, also, are alcohol based. I’m sure there are ones I haven’t thought of.

  89. Ok ,I did this backwards, I read this post first and then went to the cinnamon rolls for the official announcement. Major congratulations are in order. At least you are doing things in proper order. We closed on our house and moved the same week our daughter Ella was born, talk about an intense week. Also congratulations on the new diggs and dishwasher. If you felt you were lost w/o one before, it would be even worse when it comes to all that baby stuff . Many blessings to you & Alex from The Fomby Family

  90. Jen

    Looking forward to giving this recipe a try. My daughter is a grape and pickle lover so these should be a hit. If you’re still craving grapes…try rinsing a cupful and then putting them in the freezer…extra sweet and very refreshing in the warm summer weather to come. Congrats on your pregnancy…a recommended item to add to your new kitchen is a baby food grinder…with this wonderful gadget I rarely bought jared baby food!

  91. Bubbles

    Eek! Congratulations! My daughter is turning a year old next month, and let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with no mroning sickness. I never had any at all. In fact, I say since I had the perfect pregnancy, I’m stopping now. =D
    Enjoy those naps now, you’ll miss them later!

  92. I thought the Vietnamese pickled everything, but it looks like they’ve missed one. Diane, nor I have ever had pickled grapes and now we are totally curious. As far as pickled fruit, if you haven’t had the Vietnamese salted, preserved limes, you have to have some. When you are settled in and want some, shoot us an email and we’ll send you some from the garden. Todd.

  93. Bumble Blair

    I only recently started reading your blog and I must say, Deb, I’m slightly obsessed. I’m a chef by profession — I’m currently the Exec. at a private post-production company. It may seem odd for a chef to read a food blog, since we’re known for scoffing at recipes and others’ ideas alike, but I’m addicted to your sense of humor. And, reputation be damned, I’ve been getting some wicked ideas from you! Pickled grapes… I swoon! and die! and come back to life to congratulate you on your impending bundle and thank you for the entertainment. Must go — my fiance (imagine me pronouncing that the way Holly Hunter did in Raising Arizona) is getting jealous of the time I’ve been spending with you.

  94. piccola

    I can eat a two-pound bag of grapes in one sitting, and I’m not pregnant. And I second the pickle obsession — I once ate an entire jar of pickled cauliflower in one night. Thank god I have an iron stomach.

  95. Congratulations! Lucky you for no morning sickness! I have a sour,brine fascination as well and am looking forward to trying this. I’ve only used the black variety of mustard seeds before…interested to check these out.

  96. wow! you packed so much good news in that last post, it took me two reads to get to the ‘bun in the oven’… (and seeing the cinnamon buns, I just assumed it was those only)! Congratulations!!!

  97. Rachael

    Hi Deb, A while back you had a great recommendation of nesting mixing bowls, glass, kind of like inverted cones, and now I can’t find it. Can you point me in the right direction? I think it was around the time you did the giveaway with those great reusable bags.

  98. I have to admit that the idea of a pickled grape had never even occurred to me until I read Molly’s book. I’m quite the pickle fan, and would be rather interested in trying these out!

    Lucky you to visit the Ranch w/ Ree. Have a great time!!

  99. Ok Miss… I am not letting you get away with using pregnant as an excuse for eating so many of these now that I have a batch and can’t stop eating them in my very much not-pregnant reality. I made the yesterday and I am not sure that they will last through the day here. I really lucked out and found some grapes that were actually good, huge, crisp ones with decent flavor.

    They were so easy to make! And they are so weirdly delicious! Now I keep trying to think what else I can do this to…. Not that they will last long but how long do you suppose the shelf life (in the fridge of course) is on these?

  100. Oh wow.. I cannot wait to try these. What are the other recipes in “A Homemade Life” like? Are they mostly out-of-the-box recipes like this? I’d never heard of the book but love the idea of this recipe. I’m glad your pregnancy is progressing without morning sickness; one of my friends is in the throes right now and it makes me leery of ever becoming impregnated ever. :)

  101. Hurray for not finding out the sex of the baby. This I recommend highly as it results in a dandy surprise unparalleled by any Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday or anything like that you’ve ever experienced in your life. Got to try them pickles. Deb, I am a dedicated canner. My pickled dilled green beans are passionately fought over. Do you have any idea whether you could can these grapes in a boiling water bath, which would preserve them for some time, but if they would retain their bounce? When I make pickled green beans, the beans are uncooked, shoved into jars and have hot brine poured over them, sealed, and then processed in the boiling water. They get more tender but not sodden. So have you got any idea about that?

  102. Carla

    Congratulations to your and Alex on your baby news!!! Very very exciting! What a spoiled baby it will be and I’m looking forward to seeing how having a baby changes your cooking habits (time poor) and posts about introducing foods and how your do it for bubs! Very exciting!

  103. So,this is about your empanadas/crust and not the grapes. I don’t know what I did wrong… but the empanada dough turned out more like a cracker than anything else. ?? Could it be something to do with my elevation (6000 feet)? I’ve had the same prob with your galette dough, which everyone else raves about…maybe I’m not blending the butter small enough?? Any ideas?

  104. deb

    Lacrema — I have just about zero experience baking at high altitudes (I’ve done it once) but yes, it will make a difference. If you’re living up “high” you should definitely pick up a book on the subject and familiarize yourself with the ways recipes can/need to be adjusted to work the same.

    Lisa — My unscientific polling has led me to think a lot of ladies don’t get morning sickness. They just don’t like to air the fact publicly and draw the ire of the unlucky ones. ;)

    Rachael — Mixing bowls are here. Love them. Packing up kitchen this week, realized I don’t even use the other bowls I used to and banished them to my in-laws basement.

    Mimi — I am sure these could be properly canned but yes, I agree that the hot water bath is … well, a personal taste. I don’t like canning pickles because I don’t like the way boiling the jars softens the pickles within. You might start with the cold brine method; the water bath will then cause at least a little less softening.

    Todd — I read about those limes from you guys recently, and I am pretty sure that Alex (whose top three obsessions are salt, limes and pickles) would fall head over heels. Add this to the list of things we must try when we finally visit y’all in LA!

  105. If it makes you feel any better, Deb, I never got morning sickness either. I can admit this now, 14 yrs later. I craved hamburgers but the idea of fish made me ill. Me, the person who could eat sushi for breakfast lunch and dinner. And then I must say I never enjoyed food so much in my life as when I was pregnant. So GO FOR IT!

  106. jamie v

    Gosh- miss a few days ’round here, miss ALOT!!!!

    HUGE congrats…. so, SO happy for you!!!!!!

    But, also jealous that you get to go play with Ree.. have fun!!!

  107. Kelli

    I’m also pregnant and due September 21st! I get so sick of answering the same question over and over again so I started making up stuff. Some days I’m due on Christmas, some days on Halloween. Some days it’s twins. I know it’s awful of me to do that but I have to keep things interesting for myself! Especially since the majority of people asking all the questions are complete strangers.

    Love the pickled grape idea! I’ll have to try that! Have you tried eating grapes FROZEN? Soo yummy!

  108. Job

    Deb! Congrats on the little Perelman!! I’m so excited for you. I’m not the pickle kinda guy, but i’ll try these…to celebrate you and the genius little one :-)

  109. September 22nd is good. Shared with Bilbo and Frodo and 6 months out from me, but since I’m in the Southern Hemisphere, the antipodal adjustment makes the date auspicious.

  110. Hey Deb,

    I just have to let you know of another absolutely amazing doughnut place near to where you will be moving. It is called the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street (near Essex) and OMG you have never tasted doughnuts like these. All organic, they come out of the oven at 6:30am everyday and I have been known to be at the door at 6:15!..try the coconut one! YUM!

  111. Emily Leuba Jones

    Oh, the tiny little world of the world wide web! I love both you and P-dub, and I had no idea you two fine ladies were planning a meet-up. I can’t wait to read all the fun posts! You both have such great recipes. And such wonderful attitudes! And your kitchen is like mine, and hers is like the one I dream of someday…
    I’m looking forward to some wonderful posts. I’ll be folowing your adventures closely here in Austin, TX.

  112. AC

    congrats; I’m due with my 3rd on the same day! I hope everything goes as smoothly as it has so far. Are finding out the gender? We will find out if this is a 3rd boy or if we’re going to be in for a change with a girl in 2 weeks so it must be about that time for you as well…

  113. I made them this weekend! And I would love to be able to report about how well they paired with various cheeses, but unfortunately I can only attest to how awesome they taste when eaten straight from the jar in front of the open fridge. The preparation also led to this exchange. Me: Sorry, I ate all the grape belly buttons. Husband: And a grape belly button would be…what exactly? Me: Nevermind.

  114. Anne

    Congratulations! I’m due with my first on September 22 as well. I have also been feeling great and getting lots of dirty looks for saying that :) I’ve been eating fruit like crazy, but oddly, haven’t had any grapes in the house yet. I think I’ll pick some up tonight, they’re sounding like just what I need (and maybe a couple more bowls of ice cream to wash them down)!

  115. Jenn

    Having heard about Alex’s fondness for pickled products, I was wondering if you happen to have a go-to recipe for pickled eggs. If so, would you mind sharing? Thanks in advance (and congratulations again!) – Jenn

  116. Marcy

    Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for ages–there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t make a recipe from your site. There are so many of your recipes that have become our standards. Thank you for everything!

    I knew what was up as soon as I saw those cinnamon buns! (I need an opportunity to try them–maybe Mother’s day? I’ve had them bookmarked since Molly printed the recipe in Bon Appetite) Do you think I could make the dough the night before somehow, and then bake them in the morning?

    I’m thrilled for you and Alex! Mazel tov and felicitaciones!

  117. Mia

    It’s funny that you mention pickles and ice cream being a “preexisting condition”… every time I bust out with “I’m really craving some sweet pickles” or “man those garlic spears looks delicious” my mother’s immediate response is “Are you pregnant?”

    Why is it never the same reaction when a girl craves ice cream though? I’m never asked if I’m pregnant when I want ice cream!

  118. Shea

    Ok, now I think I must be meant to make these…I read Molly’s book cover to cover this weekend, and was intrigued by this recipe. I do love a good pickle, but have a strange time picturing this sort of sweet pickle. However, since I’ve stumbled on this exact recipe twice in two days, I better give it a shot!

  119. Hannah

    congratulation. i just had my first child in january and know all too well of the “same questions.” enjoy your pregnancy while it’s fun (9th months is not so fun with uncomfyness)! mazel tov

  120. twyla

    I started to read this wanting to hate it but it actually sounds great. I will be bookmarking this one to try later. Sadly, my current pregnancy means that I can’t eat grapes. They make me feel awful now. I miss them. Only five more months :).

  121. Squee! So excited for you and your baby– I live on the L, primarily to give me proximity to all those tasty things. Hope I run into you and your baby bump while you’re magically wearing a sign identifying yourself sometime. :)

  122. Susan O.

    I have these sitting in brine now. I admit…I had to try one after an hour and a half and they were TOTALLY scrummy!

    P.S. I ate most of the belly buttons.

  123. miri

    We made these right away and weren’t quite sure what to make of them the following morning. Kind of good – kind of weird. But now, 2 days later, we think they are amazing. I might try making this with a more diluted vinegar next time, or maybe I’ll make them exactly as is again. Yum, yum! And of course a very heartfelt mazel tov to you and Alex on the baby to be.

  124. There’s also a tiny farmer’s market on 2nd and 10th (outside the church) on Tuesdays from May to December, in addition to the Union Square Greenmarket (killer grapes from Buzzard Crest on Saturdays in the fall), the Tompkins Square, and the Stuy Town markets.

    And I’m sure you know this already but excellent pierogi can be found at Ukrainian East Village Restaurant (inside Ukrainian National Home). Although Veselka does delivery, 24/7.

  125. martina

    I’ve just come back from easter holiday in Italy with my family… so I’ve heard the news only now. Congratulations! So many news, so wonderful news! My sister recently had a “new” baby (the fifth)…so cute! Good luck with your new life in your new home (and take a nap while dishwasher is working for you!), cheers

  126. tams

    You are loved by so many – Congrats on EVERYTHING – This new little munchkin is going to be one well fed baby!

    Sending many smiles, warm thoughts, and lots of health and happiness~

  127. hmsuzy

    YOu have intrigued me …. and I am off to seek a combination of grapes! My motto think outside the box. I believe I will add a bit of fruit juice , if not flavored liquer to add to my twist of pickled grapes. And all the best on the baby.

  128. You’re welcome!

    Forgot to mention that the Bowery Whole Foods is so much easier to get around than the Union Square one (and they have an Il Laboratorio de Gelato counter), there’s also the 24/7 St Marks Market (Tom Cat and Balthazar baguettes, random Asian ingredients), SOS Chefs, etc.

    Welcome to the neighborhood.

  129. Susan O.

    Just adding, after making these yesterday and boasting about them all day and planning dinner around them, it was TOTALLY worth it.

    Make these. Now.

  130. Mike

    ACK! When I got to the cinnamon bun portion of your last post, I had to stop because I had to go to a meeting! Reading the beginning of this post instantly made me feel like a jackass. CONGRATULATIONS DEB AND ALEX!

  131. Sandra

    Yum! Made them the night I read this post, and absolutely love them! The cinnamon is great with these. BTW — being the novice that I am, I used regular white vinegar (didn’t have white WINE vinegar), and they’re still yummy. Thank you for the recipe, and continued congratulations on your new bun, and the new abode.

  132. Kalle

    congrats, deb! i, too, am expecting, and due just a few days after you. and for me, by far, it is the wine i miss the most! best wishes!

  133. I am on a pickle kick! I made Nigella’s lime pickles about 4 weeks ago and will be opening them this weekend with a little chilled vodka!

    I just made the pickled grapes this morning and hope to place them on a cheese plate tomorrow. If I can stop eating them!

    The only sad part is the liquid didn’t make enough to cover the grapes completely. I’m not stressed, some will be more pickled than others, but did I perhaps do something wrong? Or, is there anything I can fill up the jars with to cover completely say if I wanted to preserve these?

  134. brooke

    i had a great time making these and have had even more fun eating them. i have a question about the left over pickle juice though: if i still have a bunch of grapes, can i just fill it back up with grapes and wait a few days for more deliciousness? or do i need to start from scratch again? and what does a person do with the juice if their not inclined to drink it (i hate to throw away perfectly good, um, pickle stock if there’s something else i could do with it).
    thank you so much for your site and big hugs and congratulations to you and alex!

    (ps- i’d like to put in a good word for visiting austin, tx. if i promise we’re not going to secede, will you come down here too? it’s got to be at least as interesting as oklahoma….)

  135. brooke

    omg. just had a break-through. as i was eating the rest of the jar of the grapes i was trying to figure out if i’d ever had anything like them and got to thinking about strawberries and balsamic vinegar. then i got to thinking about a friend of mine who had said he likes a drop or two of balsamic on his ice cream every now and then, and then i thought, hmmm…. maybe pickled grapes and vanilla ice cream?
    uh. mazing.
    rest of jar now over rest of ice cream. and i have no excuse for like this as i’m not pregnant, but if i could put it on a desert menu i’d probably call it preggers being that it’s pickles and ice cream. :)

  136. Well I just stumbled upon your website and all I can say is wow. I’m nearly drooling just scrolling through the first page. Wish I had found it before going to NYC in October. These grapes look fantastic and I hate pickles. The buns look drooly too. mmm. Thanks. And congratulations! I’ve got 4 myself.

  137. Jill

    I did not think it possible, Deb, that you could get more creative, but impending mama-hood has really brought out some inner inspirations….keep it coming! These little gems are wonderful! I cooked up a batch on Friday afternoon and gave them all away after several tastings this weekend. You have a devoted collection of admirers in Northwest Michigan, and we can’t wait for the next surprise! Yumtious!

  138. thanks so much for the inspiration, deb! i gave these a try last night (cooling the brine first, as you suggested, which left the grapes nice and crispy) and brought them to a first-hot-sunday-of-the-year picnic in brooklyn this afternoon; they were the toast of prospect park. hooray for pickled fruit!

  139. zacusca

    These are pretty great … I kept swiping samples out of the jar, even though they hadn’t marinated for long enough.

    Any thoughts on reusing the brine, and if so, how (re-seasoning, just re-boiling, how long it’s “safe”)? Where I live wine vinegar is expensive, and I’d love to be able to get more mileage out of it if possible, plus not wasting all that leftover liquid.

  140. deb

    Definitely think the brine can be reused, at least once if not more. I think it will “let you know” when it is done, either by getting foggy or not smelling as bright and yummy.

  141. hi deb,

    I just made these little guys. DELICIOUS. I paired them with a duck breast that I brined in similar spices and panfried. I de-glazed the pan with duck broth, lemon zest, and ginger, and then I threw in soem garlic and the pickles for a quick saute.

    Duck, mashed potatoes, pickled grapes => A WIN

  142. amybeth

    I made these over the weekend and just tasted them last night. They are fantastic! If the sun ever comes out again around here, I’m telling hubby to fire up the grill and do some chicken to have with them.

  143. Katie

    I have a curried chicken salad I want to put these in. Once I find the time to make it. In the meantime straight out of the jar is the best. . . . and everyone thought I was crazy for making them.

  144. Katherine

    Hi All, I just wanted to let you know I made these and then blended them into a most delicious salad dressing. I used champagne vinegar but I don’t think there would be a difference w/ just white wine vinegar. I used the “hot” method of pickling since I knew I was going to be mixing them anyways. They sat in the fridge for almost a week prior to and I did remove the cinnamon stick before blending – wasn’t sure how well that would go. The dressing is great – perfect for summer weather (which should be hitting Ohio any month now!)

  145. Ellie

    I made these the week after this was published and I still have a few in the jar. We started throwing the leftover brine into sauteed vegetables in the last few min of cooking and it makes a really nice caramel. The cinnamon, though strong in the grapes kind of goes away so it is just a nice sweet with a bit glaze.

  146. I also made these shortly after the book came out and still eat them mostly straight from the jar. I even used green grapes, and they still turned out fit to eat. The brine too, love the brine in salad dressing or potato salad.

    I don’t know how I managed to miss this post back when you first posted it, but it seems as though great minds think alike, and I’m not even pregnant:

  147. Maya

    OMG! I cannot stop eating these… I made them this weekend for a birthday picnic… it was a Smitten Kitchen birthday as I used the artichoke olive crostini spread as a spread for lamb sandwiches, I made a salad with these pickled grapes, goat cheese, and pecans, and I made the pink lady cake as well. Yum! Thanks for sharing all these great recipes every week!

  148. Amrita

    I’ve recently discovered your incredible recipes and appreciate all your posts. Congrats to you and yours!! (You’ll have to post baby-food recipes ; ).

  149. Better late than never…I came across this post of yours and was captivated by the pickled grapes. I made them Monday night and oh my gosh, they are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  150. Elizabeth


    Made the pickled grapes two days ago….they are delicious…but am
    wondering how long I can keep them refrigerated? A few days, one week,
    two weeks?

  151. patsy

    Have/would you try this with cherries? I have some that are neither sweet nor sour (I forget what they’re called, but they’re halfway between and taste rather wine-y) and I didn’t love them in pie, so I’m reluctant to bake with the remainder.

  152. Michellers

    Made these for a baby shower, almost as a joke, but they were a big hit–even with the non-pregnant guests. I did the cold brine method so the grapes would stay firm, but I love the idea of doing the hot brine and processing the leftovers into a salad dressing. Not that I had any leftovers.

  153. Eileen

    These turned out deliciously, I especially loved the intensity of the black pepper spice after about a week. Next time I plan to try little less sugar and even more pepper, maybe add rosemary. Thank you!

  154. Adrianne

    Wow… i have never been more excited about a recipe in my life… I cant wait to make this for the next family wine party (By wine party i mean any function that draws more than two people from my family together which almost unfailingly includes 1.5 bottles of wine per guest!!!) They will all be so impressed for a new palette punch. I could see this being a culinary debate of the gods…. Thanks for always bringing something awesome to the table of life!- Adrianne

  155. Kim

    Another adventure in grape-ness that does not disappoint…try mixing some seedless grapes with a little sour cream – just to coat. Sprinkle brown sugar over top and drizzle a little creme de cacao over that. If you don’t try this, it’s your own fault!

  156. oh, TASTY! I feel like there is nothing more refreshing than cold grapes on a hot dry day. And, personally, I can think of no improvement to cold grapes on a hot day than pickling them as you describe (I = salt fiend). Totally gonna try these :) Thanks so much!

    P.S. I love your photos :)

  157. ema

    My mom found this recipe and made these last weekend. She was kind enough to bring a jar over for me to try and they are beyond fabulous! I, too, thought they sounded weird when she first mentioned them. Also, she used white grapes and rice wine vinegar (what she had on hand), and that combo seemd to work perfectly! I had to immediately go online after cracking open the jar she game me to get the recipe! :) Thanks for posting this!

  158. Sarah

    I have nothing in particular to say about pickled grapes, except that as a currently expectant mom (our first as well) there is nothing pickled i won’t eat – so thank you for the recipe, and for filling my days and dreams with THE most tantalizing pictures and delectable recipes. It’s good to be pregnant and in love with smitten kitchen!

  159. jessica

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made them this afternoon. They look beautiful, and bet they will taste just as good.

  160. mandybird

    finally tried these after wanting to for more than a year—delicious! i used cider vinegar instead of white wine and i think it made the brine extra rich and wonderful (and pretty, too!). thanks for the recipe and such a wonderful site.

  161. AJ

    Just finished reading (and very much enjoying) A Homemade Life and this was the very first recipe I made from that book. Wandering around the Smitten kitchen today, I was happy to see you had been there before me. I had the same thought out these grapes being a lovely feature n a cheese plate. I also like the idea of a cold brine which hadn’t occurred to me but which I think I’d prefer — at least for grapes going on a cheese plate. I also love the idea someone in the comments had about using these in a curried chicken salad. You’d think I’d know by now never to “walk” through the Smitten Kitchen without a pen and notepad.

  162. NS

    I completely forgot about this recipe from when I read A Homemade Life, despite going through a serious pickling phase over the summer. I just stumbled across this hoping Deb would give me appetizer inspirations for a party (she did, naturally). My little pregnant self is going to grab grapes on the way home and make these immediately – I bet they’d be great in a salad with a blue cheese and some nuts!

  163. Leah

    Made these two weeks ago with some serious hesitation. Won 1st place and “best overall” at a friendly pickling competition with them yesterday. Color me converted!

    Used black seedless grapes, gold/yellow mustard seeds, and poured the brine cold. They stayed crisp and delightful in my fridge for 2 weeks. Delicious both solo and with blue cheese.

  164. May I suggest that with the “belly buttons” you add juice of 2 limes, torn basil, mash it up and add some ginger ale, all to taste.
    If you’re NOT pregnant, i suppose a little vodka wouldn’t hurt.

  165. VV

    I have a major addiction going with FROZEN GRAPES. just pick them off the vines from the grocery store or wherever you get your grapes and put them in a big jar, add a little baking soda, lemon juice and water until the jar is half full of liquid and grapes then shake it up, add water to the top and stick in the fridge for an hour or so to soak. this gets the pesticides off they were probably sprayed with. don’t forget to rinse your grapes after they are done soaking (you can even soak them overnight if you like), then put them in zip loc bags in the freezer. turn them now and then to get both sides frozen more quickly and move the grapes around fingering the bag because some of them will have a tendency to stick to others. you do not have to dry the grapes before freezing. they taste like grape flavored ice cubes and I like to eat them w/peanut butter. SO nice on a hot day but only take a handfull out of the freezer at a time, they do thaw rather quickly and that takes the fun out of it. I love how they pop and crack in my mouth when I bite down on them and I get that thirst quenching, cold burst of grape juice. lol I love it! you and y our children will love it too. its the simple things in life…

  166. This is one of the first posts of yours I’d ever read.. can’t believe how fast time has gone by, and now Jacob is a pudgy, adorable reality. Love it.

    I have a quick question about is recipe.. I skimmed through the comments and replies and didn’t see it adressed (my apologies if I missed it!). I would love to make this with champagne grapes as part of a cheese course. What are your thoughts on how the grapes would “take” the pickling if I left them on their stems? I love the idea of leaving them on, but am unsure if they’d pick up enough pickle.

    1. deb

      Lisa — Sounds like it could be delicious. I’ve never tried it, so I cannot say for sure, but it definitely sounds like it’s worth trying.

  167. Billyjoejimbob

    Maybe cut the “country” shtick and add that the grapes should be washed in a mild brine to kill off unwanted yeasts and maybe even give credit to author Jan Berry in her book, “The Art of Preserving” for this recipe. c 1997
    Also note that the jars or bottle should be sterilized and Ms Berry suggests a maturation time of four weeks.

  168. Carrie

    Deb strikes again! You have never once failed me–and I’ve made A LOT of your recipes. Just made these yesterday. Delicious! They strike me as supremely southern and they made me miss home. Perhaps it’s their similarity to pickled watermelon rind, which I absolutely love, and which has pretty much the same brine. Southerners sure like to pickle!

  169. Gretchen

    Perhaps longer pickling times makes for more sour grapes, but I left these pickle in the fridge for a week and they were inedibly sour. I love pickles of all types, but whoa – too much. I’m re-making them with just an overnight soak in the pickling liquid to see if my results are improved.

  170. Sarah

    I am looking for what I think is a Vietnamese Pickle recipe. I have it at Chinese restaurants and Vietnamese restaurants. Usually, it has diakon, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage and star anise and some sort of red spicy pepper. Do you know a recipe for this kind of pickle? Please? I am totally craving them….thanks!

  171. Allie

    Long-time reader, first-time poster with a question! I have a bumper crop of strawberries coming in (hooray! It only took them two years!), and instead of the usual freezer jam I saw this recipe and became very intrigued. Do you think this recipe would work with strawberries in stead of grapes?

  172. allie

    Oh man, I just used this recipe on some strawberries from my garden. All I can say is, I may never make jam again, they turned out freaking amazing! The natural sweetness of the starwberries overpowered some of the other spices(plus I just love spice), though, so next time I will add a half tsp more peppercorns, but still OMG amazing! :) Thank you so much for sharing this.

  173. Jolinda

    hmmmm…I just had pickled grapes on a salad at Wine Country in Shreveport, Louisiana. Their grapes were peeled, then pickled. Your thoughts on peeling, other than the time needed?

  174. Maggie

    I’m curious, by letting the brine cool, do you simply let it come to room temperature again, or do you mean chilling it completely in the fridge before pouring the brine over the grapes? thanks for your help!

  175. Bob

    The recipe says to halve the cinnamon stick if you’re using two jars. Does that mean the cinnamon goes into the jar along with the grapes? It doesn’t specifically say, so I’m not sure if the cinnamon is only supposed to infuse the brine with flavor but then get discarded once the brine is poured over the grapes. thanks

  176. deb

    Hi Bob — Yes, you put them in the jar too. If you’re worried about it getting to cinnamon-y, you can take them out before jarring it.

  177. Marissa

    Is this a refridgerator pickle? Or is there any way I can properpy can these with a water bath and store them on a shelf?

  178. Eliza

    Grapes were finally on sale and I finally made these. This is the first time I’ve had pickled grapes and I love them. In fact, I loved them so much that I made another pickled grape recipe from the Lee Brothers – pickled grapes with chiles and rosemary. One sweet and one savory. I mixed both types in a bowl before serving them, so it was a surprise as to whether you’d get a sweeter or more savory grape.

    I’m so into pickled items now. I started out with pickled red onions, then made my own pickled jalapenos, then these grapes. I never heard of pickled grapes before reading this recipe and now I can’t be stopped! And today, I made watermelon rind chutney. This is fun! Deb, you’ve created a pickling monster.

  179. anonymous

    I just wanted to ask how this has changed from Molly Wizenberg’s recipe. It says adapted from, but I can’t tell the difference, and I’d love to know what the tweak is! Love this recipe, regardless.

    1. deb

      The adaptations are, if my memory serves me (I lent the book out years ago and never got it back) in directions, not ingredient list, though there are added notes there too. Molly’s recipe doesn’t include my blather in the second paragraph about cold versus warm brines and the effects thereof.

  180. Anonymous

    Do you know if these grapes can sit out of the refrigerator to let the pickling process continue for a few weeks? I’m looking to make these with a hot water bath (traditional pickling style). Thanks!

  181. Ady

    Can I make these with powdered cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks? I’m afraid of the gritty texture, but only have access to ground cinnamon.

  182. Maria B

    I’ve become famous for these, though I always attribute credit. With a nicely sharp cheddar like Beechers or, if you can get it, Seriously Sharp from England, they are the food of the gods. I use the same brine with addition of 1/2 inch vanilla bean and a strip of lemon rind for pickling pears. So delicious. And riffing on the same, I change the vinegar to one ounce balsamic, seven ounces cider, and add a star anise, 1/2 inch vanilla pod, and a strip of orange rind for pickling plums.

    1. Sarah

      Uhhhh I know this comment is over 4 years old but I SO HAPPY I READ THIS just now! I’m totally going to try pickling pears and plums this way, with those additions. Bless you for this comment!!

  183. Ida

    Can you extend the shelf life of these pickles by canning them in a boiling water bath? I’m preparing for Christmas, and these sound like they would be an excellent addition.

  184. DJ

    Deb- not sure how you feel about pineapple, but pickled pineapple is amazing. It’s so good that I make it even though I’m…ahem…allergic to pineapple.

  185. Laura

    I’ve been meaning to make these since you first posted this eight (!!!) years ago, and I finally had the chance to make these for a cheese board I put together for a party this weekend. I’m happy to say that they did not disappoint—they were fantastic! Most people were reluctant to try them and then were pleasantly surprised by how good they were. I got tons of compliments on them.

    I did do the hot brine because I wasn’t going to let them sit much longer than eight hours, and I was happy with the results. My grapes were pretty crisp and stayed that way after they were pickled.

    Thanks for the tasty and interesting recipe!

  186. Emjay

    So I made kind of a lot of these because I had it revealed to me that I’d bought a bunch of grapes that weren’t getting eaten and were two days away from the compost bin. And then didn’t eat them over the holidays because *flail*.

    So I just had some of these, with a little of the sweet brine, spooned over plain Greek yogurt and felt kind of ridiculously posh. Strongly recommended!

  187. Virginia

    How long will these keep in the refrigerator? I’d like to make them for holiday gifts but don’t want people to have to use them within a few days.

  188. Sarah

    I have made these several times- once as a Christmas gift for my brother-in-law who loves everything salty and vinegary and pickled and he LOVED these. Also made them for a super bowl party! I wasn’t prepared to love these as much as I do! They’re amazing, and a perfect addition to a charcuterie platter.

  189. Melissa

    By pure chance, I came across three different recipes for pickled grapes within a week, after never having heard of them. I had to try them, but also wasn’t keen to go out and buy grapes when there was no rush to make them. Good fortune struck when my neighbor showed up at my door and handed me a bag full of loquats yesterday. Eureka! I just tried them, and it might be one of my favorite things ever. EVER. For those who have access to loquats and want to try this variation, I skinned them, removed the bellybuttons, but otherwise left them whole.

  190. robert Kilmer

    I wanted to see the details for that potato Anna recipe, but didn’t want to go though and threat to privacy ti get them. Thanks for the pickled grape recipe. I’ll try that today.

  191. Bonnie L

    I made these for (my own!) birthday party a couple of years ago and loved them! Question – I have an extra 7# of grapes in my fridge right now and wondering how critical it is to slice off all of those belly buttons??

  192. L Preston

    I have made these many times over the years. Such a delicious, interesting component to add to a cheese board. People are always surprised when they hear what they are and even more surprised by how much they like them! Always a hit! But once kids came into the picture and cocktail/dinner parties got pushed to the periphery, I had kind of forgotten about them. We are still keeping our social life limited, especially since the aforementioned kiddo doesn’t qualify for the vaccine yet. But it just dawned on me…I’m a grown woman, I can have a cheese plate with pickled grapes for dinner if I want to. And I do!

  193. Victoria McCollum

    One of my favorite recipes from you. It’s 2021 and I’m still making these every autumn with the weird and wonderful moon grapes.

  194. Jess M

    I absolutely love these, and they are a hit everywhere I bring them! A question, though – is the removal of the belly button end *really* necessary? Or is the smallish hole from removing it from the stem enough to accept the brine? Seems like it would save a little bit of effort (although what else I would do while the brine cooks, I guess I don’t really know!)

    1. Jess M

      Whoops, I definitely should have sorted through the questions first! Found an answer right there… Perhaps I’ll save my energy, even if I’m only making the single batch. I usually use the warm/hot brine so that might help.