1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
It’s end of September and time for the grape harvest and crush. It’s time to celebrate the harvest especially for wine lovers. But there is way to engage those who don’t have a passion for wine and still celebrate the harvest, simply cook with grapes. I find that outside a fruit salad it’s not often you find grapes in your food. When I was a buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue , I had the good fortune to work in Florence several times a year. No matter what time of the year I went, I was always looking forward to some seasonal food that would be available. It’s how I would bench mark my trips. Each morning I would walk from the hotel to the buying office. Along the way, I would pass many pasticceria shops and in the fall they would all have grape schiacciata. Many days when I arrived to the office, I would be asking about how to prepare something from dinner the previous evening or did they have a recipe for something I had just seen in the pasticceria shop. My first recipe is a verison of the grape schiacciata shared with me from one of those trips. Another recipe is a twist on a another classic dish from Tuscany called salisicca all’ uva – sausage and grapes. Instead of pan frying , I am roasting them in the oven along with onion, rosemary, thyme and balsamic vinegar. Terrific for dinner with mashed potatoes or for breakfast along with some great country bread. Give these recipes a try and celebrate!
3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 package instant yeast
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fine sugar, plus extra for topping
1 ¼ cup warm water (110F)
2 tablespoons olive oil,
Cooking oil spray for bowl and baking sheet
1 cup red grapes, halfed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon olive oil
Mix the flour, yeast and 1 tablespoon salt in a food processor. With motor running add warm water to make a soft dough that forms a ball. If the dough is a little too sticky add a little more flour, too dry add a little water. Process another minute until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and shape into a ball. Cover with a damp towel leave to rise at room temperature for an hour. The dough should be double in size. Punch the dough down. Take a non stick rimmed cooking sheet 9” x 13”. Spray sheet lightly with cooking oil and spread dough out to the size of the pan. Cover with damp dishtowel and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Make bread topping by combining all ingredients. Take a brush and spread the oil from fruit mixture all over the top them add the fruit, pressing into the dough. Finally, sprinkle additional sugar on the top of the dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a board to serve either hot or at room temperature.
Roasted Sausages and Grapes with Herbs Serves 4 1 1/2 pounds sweet sausage 3 cups seedless red seedless grapes 1 bay leave 2 sprigs rosemary 2 sprigs thyme 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar seas salt and freshly ground pepper Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking dish add the sausage , grapes and garlic in a a baking dish in a single layer. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leave , then drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss all together and then place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove baking dish and turn sausages and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until the sausages are browned and cooked and grapes and onions so soft. Remove from oven and serve with bread or mashed potatoes.