I heard the Lee Brothers–who dreamed this one up–talk about it on the radio. I’m not a fan of olives by themselves and this sounds like an easy and possibly more appealing substitute. It does take about two hours to make so plan ahead if you wish to serve.
The recipe begins: Pickled grapes look a lot like olives, and we use them a lot like olives, too, tossing them in cold salads or just serving them in a ramekin as a cocktail nibble, with toothpicks (no dish for pits required!). Their playful sweet sour flavor, their crispness, and their gentle chile heat make them super-addictive.
6 cups stemmed mixed red and green seedless grapes (about 2 pounds)
2 cups distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Leaves from 1 four-inch sprig rosemary
½ teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes
Pack the grapes into 3 pint-size glass containers with lids. Pour the vinegar and 1 cup water into a saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and add the salt, sugar, garlic, rosemary, and chile flakes. When the mixture starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and divide the hot brine among the pints of grapes. Cover loosely and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.