So grapes are a weird one for me. I’m aware of their status as one of the more sugary fruits so I would never opt for them as a snack, preferring a bar of Bournville. If I want a sweet treat, I want to make it count. Add to this an experience as a child where I became convinced that there was a spider’s egg sack camouflaged in a bunch of white grapes, I’ve been haunted since.
But if grapes are marinaded in vinegar and aromatics, grilled and served with cheese then, naturally, I’m all for it. Enter Ottlenghi’s recipe for Burrata with chargrilled grapes and basil. It sounds a bit cheffy and a bit faffy but it is anything but. The grapes are marinaded in oil, sherry vinegar (*I used red wine), garlic and fennel seeds up to a day before you need to grill ‘em. The marinade even becomes the dressing. When the time to serve approaches, plate the burrata and start skewering the grapes. Yotam suggests five or six grapes per skewer but he must have access to some very large grapes because I had double that on my skewers.
So I fully intended on getting some burrata but then when I got to the supermarket I saw that tubs of creme fraiche were reduced to 20p. What is burrata if not a ball of bog standard mozzarella and a dollop of cream. So instead of the £9 cost of three large balls of burrata, I spent £1.85. I feel like an episode of Eat Well for Less. If I swap one bisected ball of mozzarella and a spoon of creme fraiche for burrata every week, I’ll save basically nothing over a year because I’m trying hard to be vegan ha. It was a good substitute and bodes well for people who’s supermarkets don’t stalk burrata.
Despite my grapes being half the size of Yotam’s, they definitely didn’t get a satisfying char in the recommended two to three mins. Probably double that. I won’t hold that against him though because what a recipe. Plate the skewers next to the burrata or mozzarella, drizzle some of. The grape marinade over the cheese and garnish with some basil.
We ate this as a light, summery starter to Pasta all Norma, but it would equally make a light main with some bread to mop up all the lovely grape juice. With the weather too hot to switch the oven on, cooking like this is perfect. Quick and using minimal heat. It would also make a good barbecue option, swapping the griddle pan for the grill over coals.