August 31, 2007

OK. Here is this well loved dish. I’ve had multiple people ask me for this and now that I’ve added a great multi layered spinach, I’m giving it to you.

To make this dish, you first buy a ton of red grapes. Wash and destem. Then you put them in a roasting pan. Next you make or buy sweet Italian sausage. (Optional step, brown the sausage.) Put the sausage in the roasting pan on top of the grapes. Add some fresh rosemary. (Yes you can use dried.) Take the needles off of at least three stems and you can even put in a couple of whole stems. (BTW, I’ve used all green, all red and a mix. I like the all red grapes, seedless, the best.)

Put it in a cold oven at 350 for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or 400 degrees for 2 hours and 15 mins. Subtract 15-30 mins if you brown the sausage. If you aren’t making this for twenty, you probably can subtract a 1/2 hour or more. You want the sausage to brown even more and the grapes to ‘caramelize’. Serve over polenta and put the green beans and spinach on the side.

To make the polenta you need to look in the Joy of Cooking and follow that recipe exactly. Then at the very end add in 1 1/2small logs of goat cheese and a lot of chives, fresh. I use 1 1/2 small logs of goat cheese for about 2 1/2 cups of polenta. It’s pretty basic. Use almost any recipe for the polenta and then add the goat cheese and chives. I’ve been known to even add mint. Season.

Next, blanch, parblanch or parboil your string beans in water that contains smoked sea salt. You can parblanch but I tend to parboil them (about 5 mins) and don’t forget to shock them in an ice bath with smoked sea salt. Let them sit for at least 10 mins. Then drain and put in a frying pan with olive oil and butter. Season with black pepper and smoked sea salt. Put in a pinch or two of lavender and saute gently for 10 mins. Basically warming it up.

Next heat up a pan with olive oil in it. After it is very hot, fill with spinach and cook. Then add butter to taste. (In all of this, I assume unsalted butter.) Cook this down. Add more spinach, fill it up again. Cook for 5 mins stirring and then add more spinach. Turn off the heat and fill the pan again. Wait 10 mins, reheat the pan gently and serve.