chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes and Quinoa Salad

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chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

I had a big ol’ bunch of grapes staring at me and I had no idea what to do with them. I knew I didn’t want to do something typically sweet or dessert-y, and I wanted to incorporate some new flavors. So, I decided to pickle them.

Pickled grapes? Don’t be scurrrrred. No, they won’t taste like dill pickles. The beauty of pickling is that 1) it’s super-duper-almost-no-effort easy and 2) you can add your favorite spices to the pickling mix. I love warm spices that you would find in a Chai tea – black pepper, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and ginger. So, that’s what I used. You can keep it as simple or make it as complex as you like! As long as you have the grapes, the sugar and the vinegar, the rest is up to your taste buds.

I love the little spicy bite that the radish adds and the toasted almonds add great texture. This salad is pretty adaptable – it’s great for using up leftovers and produce that’s on its last leg.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

You’ll need 1lb of seedless grapes (red, black or green), vinegar, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, black peppercorns, star anise and cardamom.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Rinse the grapes and remove them from the stem. Cut off a tiny bit of the grape on the stem-end, exposing the flesh. Place the grapes in a mason jar (or two, if needed) then eat all those little grape nubs.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Pour the pickling liquid over the grapes.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

For the rest of the salad, you’ll need quinoa, olive oil, lemons, parsley, radish, green onion and garlic (not pictured).

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

In a mortar and pestle (or using the broad side of a wide knife), mash the garlic and coarse salt together to form a paste.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Add in lemon juice and olive oil. Stir to combine and set aside.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

In a heavy-bottomed pan, toast almonds over medium-high heat until slightly browned and aromatic, about 10 minutes.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Thinly slice the radish.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Side note: have you ever tried a radish with butter and a tiny bit of sea salt? It’s kind of amazeballs.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Combine the quinoa, parsley, green onion and radish in a bowl and stir to mix evenly.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Add in dressing and toss to coat.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Drain some of the pickled grapes and cut in half. Use about 5-6 grapes per serving… or more if you really love them.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

Top the quinoa salad with the pickled grapes.

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

And that’s it!

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

The salad is light and refreshing – perfect for a picnic! Since there’s no heavy dressing, it holds up well without getting soggy. It’s even great the next day!

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

I mean…

chai spiced pickled grapes and quinoa salad on fmitk.com

c’mon.

 

Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes and Quinoa Salad

pickled grapes adapted from smitten kitchen
makes 2 large or 4 small side salads in about 20 minutes (plus 8 hours pickling time)

Ingredients

for the pickled grapes

1 lb seedless grapes, any color
1 cup vinegar (I used plain white, you can use white wine or rice)
1 cup sugar
5 green cardamom pods, cracked to expose seeds inside
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
1 tsp black peppercorns
1″ chunk of ginger, peeled and cut in half

for the salad

1 clove garlic
3-4 tbsp lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted
3 small radishes, thinly sliced
3 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
zest of one lemon
coarse sea salt

Directions

for the pickled grapes

Rinse the grapes and remove from the stem. Cut off the stem-end of the grape to remove the stem nub expose some of the the flesh. Place in a mason jar and set aside. (Note: you may need to divide between a couple mason jars. I used one large one).

In a small sauce pan, combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes, then pour the syrup over the grapes, dividing between jars if necessary. Let cool to room temperature, then chill overnight to pickle.  The grapes will keep for a week, sealed air tight and kept refrigerated.

for the salad

Using a mortar and pestle or the broad side of a wide knife, mash the garlic and salt together until it forms a paste. In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil.

In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, toasted almonds, sliced radish, and parsley. Add dressing and toss to coat evenly. Top with 5-6 pickled grapes, cut in half.

Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes and Quinoa Salad
Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes and Quinoa Salad
by
Chai-Spiced Pickled Grapes and Quinoa Salad with radish and toasted almonds.

Cook Time:20 minutes

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  1. […] is a delicious recipe by FMITK that’s wonderful for picnics. The variety of textures you experience is truly a delightful […]

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