1 July 2012

Two of my Five a Day ~ Sautéed Grapes & Raspberry Vinegar

Good afternoon and Happy July,

~  Menu  ~

St. Agur with Sautéed Grapes
Nubbly Toast
Secret Red
Vanilla Ice Cream with …
… a Taste of my Raspberry Vinegar

As I mentioned the other day I now have a deadline by which I must have finished the manuscript for my forthcoming book.  I now have the onerous task of testing every recipe and suggestion in the book which is a lot of eating!  Today, for instance, I played with grapes and in addition to seeing how well they freeze and planning more complicated ideas I tried sautéing a few which I left on the bunch so they’d look pretty in this photo.   I’m thinking all the time, me!

I drizzled the grapes with olive oil, seasoned, as one does, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cooked them in a hot frying pan till they just started to show dark spots, shrivel and smell gorgeous.  They were sweet, hot and bursty in the mouth; perfect with the cold and creamy blue cheese and good bread.  These are definitely a keeper.

Having eaten that I felt the onus was on me to continue my experimentation with a small dessert.  A week or two ago I made a batch of raspberry vinegar and I had heard somewhere that it makes a good sauce for ice cream so tried it.

A bit of a surprise at first but whoever said it was good was right.  Mind you I only tested a spoonful as you can see so might have to try some more later just to make sure.

(Rasp) Berry Vinegar

You need a bit of forward planning for this.

1 kg or raspberries (or other berries)
1 ltr white wine vinegar
200g sugar

~   In a plastic, stainless steel or glass bowl (it MUST be non-reactive) crush together the berries and white wine vinegar.  (Or, I’ve just thought, perhaps cider vinegar would be best with blackberries!) 
~   Cover the bowl and leave to steep for 3 days.
~   Set a nylon sieve over a bowl and pour the fruit and juices through.  Allow to sit without disturbing to allow all the vinegar to drip through.
~   Put the juices in a non-reactive pan and add the sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
~   Skim, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
~   Cool completely then pour into sterile jam jar(s) and store in the fridge for 6 months or more!

This vinegar is delicious and I can think of lots more normal things to do with it – vinaigrette for instance or maybe add a sprinkling to fruit salads.  Anyway it brings a touch of summer to this grim, so far, July!

You could halve the vinegar recipe above but if you only have a few leftover raspberries a better idea would be to add them to your Rumpot which no doubt you started a few weeks ago.  If you didn't it’s not too late – see link above for details.  

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