Happy Summer! The weather has been brilliant the past week, which means the bounty of summer has been hitting the markets with an abundance. Everything has been so good, from apricots to wild king salmon, and we feel blessed. One ingredient that has been extra sweet the past month are red grapes. The ones we get are from California are seedless, juicy and so flavorful, which is perfect for this grilled grapes with burrata recipe.
If you follow me on Instagram you may remember seeing this recipe a lot over the past two summers. The first debut was for Lenny’s 50th birthday when we rented a house in the desert to celebrate. We ate this every night for four nights, sometimes as an appetizer and other times as a light dinner with a salad. The recipe is by Yotam Ottolenghi and is from his cookbook Ottolenghi Simple, which is the one cookbook that I use all year and most of the time when I need easy and delicious inspiration.
Sometimes I am a hurried cook and do not take my time fully reading through a recipe which is what happened the first time I made this. For instance, the recipe does not call for coriander or urfa chili but in my mind it was in the recipe and before I had a chance, I had already tossed it into the bowl. Urfa chili is so good, and it isn’t overly spicy, instead it is smoky and savory and goes so well with the rest of the ingredients in this one. I tend to use Urfa chili throughout the summer as it reminds of hot summer nights, not sure why, it just does.
The first time I made this I marinated the grapes overnight but felt it was too much red vinegar that penetrated the fruit and it was overbearing. The next time I made I used sherry vinegar which is more mild and flavorful, and only marinated the grapes for two hours, which was perfect. The sherry vinegar I like to use for cooking is Cepa Vieja, it is a little pricey but worth it. Something I have learned the past two years, which is a post on its own, is to spend a little more money for good vinegars. It makes such a difference with your cooking and eating experience. This particular sherry falls somewhere between a red wine and balsamic vinegar, and it has been aged in 100 year old oak barrels which creates a softness. It is really lovely with the spices in this recipe as well as the grapes.
I have served this a few times to friends and they are always blown away at how good grilled grapes are especially when served with creamy burrata. I like to grill the grapes so that some of them have char marks and almost bursting as they tend to get this lovely jammy flavor which pairs so well with the burrata and crispy baguettes. It is definitely a recipe that screams summer time!!
- Grapes, you will want red seedless ones as it is not fun picking seeds from warm and gooey grapes. Your experience will be ruined.
- Try to find medium sized grapes as they go onto the skewers easier.
- Use wooden skewers as I found out metal ones tended to rip the grapes in half.
- Soak the skewers at least 30 minutes before cooking, this prevents them from catching on file.
- The easier way to put onto skewers, is to poke the end into the area where the stem was removed from and then push through.
- Do not go cheap on the vinegar or olive oil, it makes or breaks this recipe. Splurge a little, after all, it is summer!
More Appetizers you Must Make
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons date syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon urfa chili
- 12 ounces seedless red grapes, medium sized, removed from stems
- maldon salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 ball burrata cheese
- small basil leaves for garnish, if you can find with flowers that is a bonus
- 3 small fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced, as garnish
- toasted baguette slices or crackers to serve with
Toast the fennel and coriander seeds until lightly toasted. Place into a mortar and light crush.
In a medium sized bowl add the sherry vinegar, olive oil, date syrup and urfa chili and whisk. Add the toasted seeds along with the grapes and light stir. Set aside for two hours.
Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes - I tend to push it to an hour.
Preheat the grill to 375.
Skewer the grapes onto the skewers - I put 5 - 7 grapes per skewer. Save the marinade
Grill for 2 minutes and then turn and grill from another 1 - 2 minutes until lightly charred and warm and jammy. Some may burst a little, this is fine.
Place the burrata onto a serving plate and arrange the skewers around the cheese. Drizzle with the leftover marinade.
Scatter the mint leaves as well as torn pieces of basil over the top. Sprinkle with a little Malden salt and a grind of fresh black pepper.
Definitely use seedless graptes, and refer back to our post for more tips and tricks.
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