Marvelous!! – everyone will be so impressed! This is a perfect accompaniment to a couple of cheeses and a jar of pickled grapes will keep for a long time in the fridge. The grapes can (and should) be pickled a few days ahead, and they can be wrapped the morning you plan on serving them. I’ve already made these a few times so I’ve also found that the cooler the pickling liquid, the crunchier the grape, and the thinner the prosciutto, the better the bite. I discovered this in Alex Guarnaschelli’s book, ‘The Way I Learned to Cook’, and she also recommends browning the wrapped grapes in a skillet and serving them hot (and a bit crispy) – enjoy!
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pickled Grapes
1/2 to 1 lb. of seedless red grapes (not too small!)
10-12 slices of thin prosciutto – thinly sliced again into lengths, and then the lengths cut in half
3/4 c. sugar AND 1 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1 T. EACH mustard seeds AND black peppercorns
9 whole cloves AND 1 1/2 t. kosher salt
In a small pot, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves and salt and simmer over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Set the pot aside to cool and get started on the grapes. Using your favorite very sharp knife, cut the ‘belly button’ off (where it connects to the stem), taking as little as possible, and make a few shallow incisions along the sides of each grape. Add the grapes to a non-reactive bowl, pour the pickling liquid over top, cover tightly and refrigerate until you need them.
On the day you wish to serve the grapes, wrap a thin length of prosciutto around each one and set on a platter with the seam side down. If you wish, sprinkle a bit of the extra pickling liquid and maybe some olive oil over all.