Odds and ends Worth Making

Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles


  • 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
  • 1/2 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.

Reprinted from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor by Matt and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2009 Published by Clarkson Potter

Oat Biscuits

Felicity Cloake’s perfect digestives

(makes 10)
170g wholemeal flour
170g medium oatmeal
150g cold butter, diced or grated
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g dark muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2-3tbsp milk
150g chocolate (optional)

Sift together the flour and oatmeal in a food processor or large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs.

Stir in the bicarb, sugar and salt, then add just enough milk to bring it together into a coherent dough that will hold together well. Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170C (fan) and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Roll the dough out between two sheets of clingfilm, or on a very lightly floured work surface, until about 4mm thick, then cut out your biscuits. Arrange, spaced out on the trays, and decorate with a fork, skewer or cocktail stick.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden (12 if you prefer them soft, 15 for a crisper finish), then cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to crisp up.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once the biscuits are cool, carefully dunk one side of each into the chocolate to coat, and set back on the rack to dry – you can repeat this process several times to build up the layers.

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