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August 11, 2011 - 2:05pm
Britta T


Aesop might have been mistaken when he boasted about sour grapes, because we have tasted and we have seen their sweetness at the Little Italy Mercato. Stop by Lone Oak Ranch, Smit Orchards or Terra Bella Ranch to grab some of the finest grapes of the first harvest.

If you're bored with plain jane grape salads and cheap grape popsicles, try your luck at making this surprisingly delightful grape and nectarine butter. It will surely turn any sour faces into smiles! Spread a dollop on a baguette from Bread & Cie, paired with a soft cheese like Minuet or even ripe Camembert from Taste Cheese. Or perhaps you'd like to enjoy it fresh with some rich, creamy peanut butter from Pacific Beach Peanut Butter on a slice of Sunflower Flaxseed bread from Belen Bakery. Mmmm.

Here's how you make it: Put 7-8 ripe nectarines, diced coarsely (no need to remove skins) and 4 cups of concord grapes in a large pan. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the fruit gets soft. Strain seeds through a food mill (or mash and press through a fine strainers). Return remaining pulp to the pan. Boil gently, stirring constantly until reduced by half. Turn off the heat, add 1/4 cup of raw honey from Heritage Family Farms or Mikolich Farm and mix well. Pour fruit butter into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace. Check out Simply Canning for proper sealing/canning methods and tips..