Food

Fruit of summer: Fun and weird ways to consume grapes

Ayla Coşkun

ISTANBUL: From salads to pickles, and sorbets to traditional Turkish hoşaf, there are endless, fun and intriguingly weird ways to use grapes to make healthy snacks. Here are some recipes for imaginative ways to consume this special seasonal fruit

All kinds of grapes are in season right now, and while they make for a healthy snack and inspire you to imitate the old Roman style of consuming them … it can get tedious. While a tart with fresh fruit is the classic take, here are some other ways you can pep up the seasonal fruit!

Ice cubes

In my previous text, I hinted at the idea of using everything but water to cool your drinks. The aim was to avoid watering down your carefully prepared drinks. Well, another very fancy way of doing this is to freeze the titular fruit. Just clean them first, pluck them off their stems, and then after drying them off, throw them into the freezer.

First I’d recommend doing it in a single layer, and once they are completely frozen you can toss them into a container fit for the freezer. This serves two purposes: First they are likely to not stick together, even if they do, it is easier to pull the single layer apart; secondly, they are likely to freeze faster.

Grape sorbet. (Shutterstock Photo)
Grape sorbet. (Shutterstock Photo)

Quick sorbet

To continue with the frozen theme we have a very easy sorbet recipe for you. And considering that you control how much sugar goes in there, it is most definitely more healthy than the commercially available ones.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams grapes, preferably without seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

Like with the ice cubes you’ll first want to remove the grapes from their stem and clean them thoroughly. Get them on a flat tray and freeze them for several hours until they are solid. If you think ahead you can always put them into the freezer the day before and let them freeze overnight. Toss the grapes into a food processor, blender or alike and pulse until it is smooth.

Add the other ingredients and continue blending, making sure that everything is mixed thoroughly. Taste it and if it is not sweet enough you can always add more honey to the mix.

Serve directly or put it into a freezer-safe container. You can keep that sorbet for about a month or two in the freezer. Before serving you might want to give it a few minutes to thaw just a bit.

Fresh fruits being boiled to make kompot. (Shutterstock Photo)
Fresh fruits being boiled to make kompot. (Shutterstock Photo)

Grape Hoşaf

Now, this is a more Turkish way of preparing your fruit. Let’s say you forgot your grapes in the freezer and the season for cool drinks has long passed. There is another way to utilize it. You can toss them, together with other fruit, even dried ones, into a pot of water with a bit of sugar and cook them together until the color of the water changes.

This might sound overly simplistic but it is a way of making juice without wasting a whole lot of fruit.

Hoşaf is drunk cold, so let it cool off and store it in the fridge. But if you like you can drink it hot as well – I’m the last one to stop you – but keep in mind that that version would be called “kompot” then. Though it sounds a lot like “compote” it is most definitely a warm fruit drink rather than the jam-like compote you may be familiar with.

A salad with grapes, walnuts and blue cheese. (Shutterstock Photo)
A salad with grapes, walnuts and blue cheese. (Shutterstock Photo)

Grape salad

After so many sweet things, it is time to throw in a slightly savory dish. Although straightforward, salad is a very good way to use the seasonal fruit. While you can of course make fruit salads with grapes as well, we want to explore the not-so-obvious path with our little fruits here.

The ingredients I’ll be listing here are merely a suggestion, you can always remove and add any given element here. Let’s call this an inspiration for your culinary adventures to come!

Ingredients

  • 300 grams green grapes
  • 300 grams red grapes
  • 200 grams feta cheese
  • 1 red pepper
  • half a bundle green onions
  • half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

Wash all the grapes thoroughly and slice them in half. Crumble the feta cheese into a bowl and chop the pepper and green onions finely. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl and don’t forget the grapes as well. Season to your liking and serve.

Tips

If you want to have a different texture, adding crushed walnuts to the mix is definitely recommended. Cilantro or parsley, finely chopped, of course, can be great additions to this as well.

Pickled grapes. (Shutterstock Photo)

Pickled grapes marinated in salt and pepper. (Shutterstock Photo)

Pickled Grapes

I said weird and unusual and I meant it. Have you ever heard of pickled grapes? Now you have. These go especially well with cheese and the aforementioned salad as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram grapes
  • 500 milliliters vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Instructions

Wash the grapes and sterilize your jars by boiling them in hot water for a minute. Fill the grapes into the jars. Put the vinegar, honey and salt into a pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for one minute and pour the hot mixture into the jars and close them off immediately. Let the jars rest in a cool and dark place for a month before tasting them.

Courtesy: Daily Sabah

Leave a Comment