Thursday, October 2, 2008

A TASTE OF TUSCANY: Greens and Beans with Concord Grape Focaccia

I bought some Concord grapes at our town Farmers Market. Ten dollars for the peck and they were mine. We have a lot of vineyards near here int he Finger lakes Region. It is beautiful country if you ever make your way to this part of NY State.

I have been wanting to try this recipe I found for Grape Focaccia. I thought it sounded pretty interesting. Fresh grapes thrown on some focaccia. I sprinkled the top with sucanat just to add a texture and taste. It went well. It may seem a little odd to some people, grapes thrown on bread and baked. But think of it like grape jelly on your biscuits. But far better!

Aren't they just beautiful?
Then at the market downtown this past Saturday and there is this guy there who always has the most interesting produce. (Yes, I went to two markets this past Saturday). In the past he has had, Jerusalem artichokes, black walnuts, lima beans, baby bok choy, and on Saturday he had a type of kale I have never seen before. He said he bought the seeds from Tuscany, Italy. He said it was real sweet and nutty. He said it had an oyster like taste. I have never tried oysters but I will take his word for it. It was sweet and nutty! It was delicious.
I boiled the kale in chicken broth, as he suggested, drained it (saved that broth) and fried it in olive oil, along with some chopped garlic. I had cannelini beans boiling in chicken broth as well. I just strained the beans and threw them in with the greens when it was almost ready.

For the Focaccia
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or 1 packet
2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups warm water

In a measuring cup stir the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let set for a couple minutes. Meanwhile add salt to yeast and stir. Pour in the yeast mixture and the oil and stir to combine. Add about 2 cups of flour and combine thoroughly- adding more water if too dry and more flour if too wet. Go slowly, adding little amounts until you get a smooth dough. Knead for about five minutes. Make sure the dough is springy and smooth. Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about an hour or so. Press into jelly roll pan. You may need to let the dough rest as you work it into the pan.  If it gets springy- let it sit for about five minutes and then begin working the dough again to fit the pan. Place grapes* on top and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven at 375 F until golden.

* You may want to deseed them if that would bother you biting into the bread.


Chibog in Chief said...

I made some of this last week, so I know how delicious they are, yummy!

kat said...

I've had that type of focaccia before & it is so good. I tried to do something similar with dried cherries but my bread came out like a rock...

Rosie said...

I adore baking focaccia and yours really looks wonderful with grapes and green beans.

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

I did this focaccia during a DB challenge and loved it. It was my own touch- with onion! Yours looks fab!

Heather said...

ohh yum! i love focaccia! and the concord grapes sound delicious. i like putting them in savory dishes.

lisa is cooking said...

The grape focaccia looks fantastic! Concord grapes are difficult to locate here in Austin, but I used to eat them in Illinois.

kellypea said...

Okay, I'm foccacia is definitely up my alley, and a good place for me to experiment with this business of baking grapes. YUM! The kale sounds amazing, too...I was going to sneak in some San Marzano tomato seeds when we came back from Italy this summer but chickened out...Brave man.

Vicki said...

Grapes on focaccia sounds great! And your beans & greens look delicious, it's one of my favorite dishes :-)