The Last Thing We'd Think to Do with Raisins Is Also Our Favorite

March 22, 2018

Sure, pickling and preserving stems from that age-old desire to keep things edible just a little bit longer. But along the way, we’ve come to appreciate the intense, bright flavors—so much so, that we’ve been known to quick-pickle almost anything (blueberries, peppers, eggs, persimmons… we could keep going!). But there’s a doubly preserved pickle we can’t believe we missed: raisins.

So nice we preserved them twice. Photo by Bobbi Lin

In her just-released guide to all things salad, New York–based chef Ilene Rosen introduced us to the sweet, tart bite of quick-pickled raisins. The process is just like other quick pickles: Heat up a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices to boiling, then pour the brine over raisins. Let them sit overnight and they’re ready for eating, or keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Not that they’ll be around that long. We couldn’t stop munching on the plumped-up fruit as a sweet pairing with charcuterie and salumi. Or Rosen suggests sprinkling them into carrot salads or Indian curries. For a sweeter take, leave out the onion and add them into classic bread or rice pudding. They’ll bring an extra, unexpected dimension that’ll have you wondering… what else should we pickle?

What’s your favorite thing to pickle? Share in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Noemi Lopez
    Noemi Lopez
  • FrugalCat
  • witloof
  • AntoniaJames
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Noemi L. July 7, 2019
Which one are the tequila pickled raisins?
FrugalCat June 9, 2018
Tried it- golden raisins (sultantas), turbinado sugar, a winner!
witloof March 23, 2018
Hmmmm... I often boil dried cherries or golden raisins in muscat vinegar to toss into roasted vegetables or wild rice salads.
AntoniaJames March 22, 2018
In our house, we would call this a chutney. E.g., and
(with a few more ingredients) - with the basic idea being sweet dried (and/or fresh) fruit, plus vinegar, plus sugar + onion + a few spices = exactly what you want on your cheese / charcuterie / antipasto plate. ;o)
FrugalCat March 22, 2018
Definitely going to try this. I have usually soaked raisins in rum before adding to rice pudding.