For our French wine dinner at work the other week we had Duck liver Pate, chicken and mushroom terrine and salmon rillettes for the entree. When we did the tasting for the dinner a week before, I realised that we needed some kind of pickled items to go with all that rich, fatty goodness that we were serving. A few years ago I pickled some white grapes to go with a chicken liver parfait, which set my mind in motion and noticing some red grapes in the coolroom I decided to pickle those. I also remember seeing somewhere pickled cherries, conveniently we had cherries in the coolroom so I decided to pickle them as well.

I only used a basic pickle mix of sugar, vinegar, water, cinnamon, whole cloves, coriander seeds, bay leaves, salt. I was only able to let them sit for around a week so could imagine they would taste better with a bit more time to sit and pickle. I used the same mix for both the grapes and the cherries.

The pickled grapes went really well with the salmon rillettes, while the cherries were a hit with the pate.

Pickle Mix

625ml White Vinegar(use one with 5% acidity)

500g white sugar(or for some variety raw caster sugar)

2 Tablespoons Maldon Sea Salt

15 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

6 whole cloves

1/2 cinnamon stick

10 coriander seeds

Place all in pot and bring to boil. This is enough for around 1.3kg of fruit.

Deseed and destem your cherries by cutting them in half (warning you will stain your fingers, use disposable gloves if  you can) or cut seedless grapes in half place in to pickle jars.Pour the hot brine over cherries or grapes, leaving 1.5cm of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings (mason jar) process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.Using tongs, take them out of the water and leave to rest on a towel  for 24 hours.

Store in cool, dark place until ready to use.

The pickling leaches some of the colour from the red grapes and cherries, giving an attractive colour to the pickling liquid in the jar. Drain when ready to use. I could also picture using  the pickled cherries with a nice roasted duck or goose and the grapes warmed through with a piece of panfried salmon.

Unfortunately no photo as I only got the entree before the cherries and grapes went on.