A plate of crostini.

Fermented Harvest Grape & Fig Compote for Your Autumnal Boards & Toasts

With autumn in full swing, the season for entertaining, deep jewel-toned produce and decadent bites is upon us. The appeal of this easy, practically fool-proof ferment stems from its lustrous purple hues and the pronounced, ever-popular sweet and salty pairing of flavor notes.

Fermenting seasonal fruit is an effective way to keep the produce from spoiling in your fridge while preserving that peak season flavor. Most fruit makes a great canvas for cultivating beneficial microbes because of their natural high sugar and moisture content. The flavor profile that takes form carries a rich brightness and an incredible amount of depth.

Related:How to Make Flavorful No-Cook Syrups

The crostini recipe that follows can be thrown together in a matter of a few minutes to impress your guests or can act as a tasty snack while watching your favorite fall-time movie. Feel free to substitute the cheese for plant-based alternatives or bread for a gluten-free variety. This compote also shines as an accompaniment on a seasonal charcuterie or grazing board.

Additional Tips:

  • Adding some vinegar to your salt brine helps lower the pH faster while helping your produce retain some of its natural crispness.
  • Mixing dried fruit like figs with your fresh grapes is not only economical but lends an additional mouth-feel and flavor component.
  • It is helpful to cut your grapes in half before fermenting them, to help increase exposure to the brine and ensure success and speed.
  • Adding aromatics like orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves or cardamom pods will add a warm richness to your compote.
  • Try using an immersion blender to create a decadent toast spread with any extra compote.


Fermented Harvest Grape & Fig Compote

Yield: 1 half-gallon jar



  • 4 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

For the brine:

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups water (filtered is best)


  1. Cut grapes in half and place in a large bowl.
  2. Use kitchen shears to de-stem dried figs and to cut them in half lengthwise. Add to the same bowl.
  3. Use a peeler to shave off strips of zest and add to grape mixture. Juice oranges and add to bowl.
  4. Massage garlic, yellow mustard seeds and sea salt to bowl contents. 
  5. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to release some moisture.
  6. Add bowl contents to a half-gallon sterilized glass jar.
  7. Pour in vinegar and water, making sure the contents are submerged.
  8. Weigh down with fermenting weight, if necessary.
  9. Fasten carboy and ferment at room temperature for 7 days.
  10. Transfer to refrigerator for extended storage.

Appetizer Recipes Galore: Brined Pine Nut Ricotta Cucumber Rounds

Add new comment