Gone are the days when the only association with Italian grapes is a glass of wine. Chances are you've already fallen in love with schiacciata all'uva, so why not incorporate them into—well, onto—pizza, another classic Italian dish?
Hear us out: The juicy purple (or green) fruit when sliced in half is a great addition to any olive oil-based pie. Add some Gorgonzola and prosciutto, top with roasted, pickled or plain grapes, and you have a meal sure to impress any warm fruit critic.
The origin of grapes on pizza is unclear but is presumably related to the aforementioned Tuscan dish, schiacciata all'uva (flattened bread or focaccia with grapes). During the harvest season in Italy, grapes are baked into flatbreads to create a slightly sweet snack or dessert. The crunch and tartness of the grapes add a layer of complexity to the dough.
Tuscany in California! Last month I received gorgeous Petit Sirah grapes from my winemaker friend and made them into this sweet focaccia filled and topped with delicious jammy grapes. It's called "schiacciata con l'uva", a special treat in Tuscany that you can only find at wine harvest time. I make and teach it every year in the U.S. to bring a taste of Tuscany to California. ➡Check out my latest blog post for recipe and story (link in profile). #grapefocaccia #schiacciataconluva #italiancooking #focaccia #grapes #Tuscany #wineharvest #baking #bread #thisisfall #theartofitalianliving #labellavita
Now chefs and restaurants alike are getting in on the action: Alex Guarnaschelli puts them on a flatbread with charred broccoli; Jaime Oliver's version has honey, rosemary and pecorino; and even Brooklyn's Paulie Gee's showcases the mighty grape on a secret-menu pizza. Featuring house-pickled red grapes, mild Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano, baby spinach and olive oil, the Grapeful Dead is a mild, albeit interesting, addition to the menu.
When Gee's pizza maker approached him and suggested trying pickled grapes as a topping after an episode of Portlandia, Gee was on board. "[I] liked [the grapes] when I tried them,” the pizza king says. "[I'm] always look[ing] for opportunities to create pies that contrast sweet and savory ingredients." The addition of the right blend of cheese and baby spinach proves to be a winning combination.
So sit back, enjoy that glass of wine, and while you're at it, toss a few grapes onto your next slice of pizza. You won't be disappointed.
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