With market tables and bins groaning under the weight of an extraordinary abundance and variety of local produce, late summer and early fall are truly wonderful seasons for cooks in southwestern Ontario — I daresay that almost every fruit, vegetable, green and herb that I've cooked with over the past few months has been grown locally, sometimes as locally as my own backyard! One of the treats that I look most forward to every fall harvest are baskets of gorgeous deep blue Coronation grapes. Sweet, tangy and juicy, these colorful little gems — sometimes known just as "blue grapes" — are essentially a variety of Concord grapes with all the glorious Concord grape flavor but without seeds, making them perfect and easy for snacking on.
And snack on the first few baskets I always do, but I'm also on the hunt for ideas to incorporate them into recipes as well to showcase their unique taste in something more elaborate than a snack bowl. This recipe has been hiding in my draft folder for several months now, long since the last time blue grapes were in season, but now that I've gone through several baskets of this year's crop it was time to put it together in this savory and just slightly sweet Tuscan focaccia bread with rosemary, toasted pine nuts and olive oil — or what everyone else in Italy calls focaccia but is called schiacciata or "flattened down" in Tuscany.
This traditional bread is made during the wine grape harvest in Tuscany, and I suspect that it's made not so much in celebration of the harvest as for a snack to keep the vineyard workers going during the day. For us non-vineyard people, it's a wonderful light fresh leavened bread speckled with beautiful circles of purple and a surprisingly tasty combination of the grapes and fresh rosemary. My husband and I were delighted both with the taste and the soft texture of the bread interspersed with little crunchy toasted pine nuts. We ate this for dessert, for a late-night snack, and for breakfast the next day!
If you can't find Coronation grapes, do feel free to substitute any fairly tart and not-too-sweet red or black table grape.
|Tuscan Grape and Rosemary Focaccia (Schiacciata a l'Uva)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on October 4, 2013
Fresh soft foccacia bread with sweet tangy blue grapes, fresh rosemary and toasted pine nuts — a North American version of a traditional Tuscan harvest bread
Concord Grape Pie
Blue Grape Pancakes
Baked Blue Grape Pancakes
On the top of the reading stack: The Soupmaker's Kitchen: How to Save Your Scraps, Prepare a Stock, and Craft the Perfect Pot of Soup by Aliza Green
Audio Accompaniment: space ambient