Cooking with Grapes

August 30, 2013 No comments » [ssba]

Right now at Ponte, grapes are everywhere.  It being harvest season and all, we’ve got grapes practically hanging from the rafters.  For the most part we try to keep them in the vineyards and tank yard and off the bottom of our guest’s shoes, but if you’ve been to the winery lately you may have noticed some evidence of the picking and transferring of tons and tons of grapes.  A stray stem here, a lone grape there.  We’ve been posting photos of harvest on Facebook and Instagram (be sure to follow us for all the action!) and I, for one, can’t get enough of the gorgeous pictures of all those luscious-looking globes of juice.  Needless to say, I’ve had grapes on the brain and not just for wine, but for food as well.  Cooking with grapes is awesome.  They can go into both sweet and savory dishes and, best of all, pairing these dishes with wine is a cinch!  Try some of these grape recipe ideas and let us know what you think.

Grilled Pizza with Grapes – Pair with 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Using a standard oven-baked pizza recipe, top pizza dough with a brush of olive oil, minced garlic, caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese.  In a bowl, toss red grapes with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme.  Put grapes on pizza as well.  Bake in oven as directed by your pizza recipe until crust is done and grapes just begin to burst.  If desired, top finished pizza with thin slices of prosciutto before serving.

Roasted Grape Bruschetta – Pair with 2012 Moscato

Slice up a loaf of crusty bread and set aside.  Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat and preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss about 2 cups of red grapes with some extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and about ½ tsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary.  Place grapes on a baking sheet and bake in oven for about 10 minutes.  Grapes should be soft and just bursting.  Place bread slices on grill and grill both sides until lightly charred.  Remove from grill and immediately rub each slice with a clove of garlic.  Be sure to rub the garlic over entire surface of bread (just one side of bread is fine).  Top bread with a generous amount of ricotta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and the roasted grapes.

Chicken Salad with Grapes – Pair with 2012 Vermentino

Toss together some roasted and chopped chicken breast, minced red onion, toasted and chopped walnuts or almonds, chopped green apple, chopped celery and halved green grapes.  Mix with just enough mayonnaise to hold everything together, plus a squirt of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Grape Kebobs – Pair with 2012 Beverino

Skewer your choice of grapes with chopped mango, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi or any fruit you like.  In a bowl, make a glaze of honey, orange juice and some chopped mint.  Brush glaze over fruit kebobs and grill over medium heat until fruit is just charred and warm.  A great summer dessert!

–Have you cooked with grapes?  What is your favorite way to use them?

–Erica Martinez

Posted by , August 30, 2013 No comments

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