Pickled Grapes With Manouri Cheese and Salad Greens

peter_minakis_stlawerence_supperclub-11 (2)Last week I hosted my latest Greek Supper Club, this time the venue was at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto’s world famous central market. The dinner theme was Greek dishes with some Canadian twists.

Greek eating and drinking has been centered around wine since ancient times but there’s always some new twists to be added so I decided to pickle some grapes for this gorgeous, simple salad.peter_minakis_stlawerence_supperclub-43

You’ll need seedless red grapes, ripe but nothing too sweet (look for a Muscat grape) and the pickling is simple wine vinegar, sugar and some spices. The sweet and the sour profile that the grapes develop is a delight to eat with a salad that has cheese.

The cheese I use for this salad is called Manouri, a cheese made from the whey leftover from Feta cheese production. It’s mild, buttery flavour is great for a cheese course, dessert or in this instance, a salad. If you’re really adventurous, try grilling Manouri!peter_minakis_stlawerence_supperclub-49

Pickled Grapes With Manouri Cheese and Salad Green

(serves 4-6)

For the Pickled Grapes

2 cups of sugar

1 1/2 cups wine vinegar

6-7 allspice berries

2-3 star anise

2 cups of seedless red grapes, well rinsed

For the Dressing

1/4 minced shallots

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey (or petimezi – Greek grape molasses)

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon

juice of 1 orange

approx. 1/2 cup Evlogia Cretan extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

5 cups of salad greens

Krinos Manouri cheese, sliced

Garnish

walnut halves

  1. In a medium pot, add the sugar and vinegar, spices and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grapes and simmer on low for 12-14 minutes.
  2. Remove the grapes then pack the grapes into sterilized, hot jars. Bring the vinegar back up to a boil and reduce until it thickens into a syrup. Remove the spices, pour the thickened vinegar into the jar(s) and allow to cool.
  3. Cover and  place in your fridge (allow the grapes to sit overnight in the vinegar for best results). Store in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  4. To make the dressing, add all your ingredients into a jar and seal and shake. Open, taste and adjust flavourings/seasoning according to taste.
  5. Toss the dressing into some seasonal salad greens of choice, divide and plate, add a slice of Krinos Manouri cheese, top with a cluster of pickled grapes, walnuts and spoon some of the syrupy vinegar on top.

© 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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