By Vanessa Pisk
Recipes by Luigi F. di Biagio
BAKED GRAPES WITH A SPICED CRUMBLE
(Serves six)300 g (10.5 oz) large purple and green grapes, 2 tbsp agave syrup (or acacia honey), juice of 1 lime, 120 g (1 cup) flour 50 g (1/2 cup) oat flour, 80 g (2.8 oz) lightly salted butter cut into cubes, 40 g (1/5 cup) granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch ground ginger, vanilla ice cream
Put the two flours, sugar, spices and butter in a bowl, and work with your fingers until chunky. Rub the chunks between your fingers until crumbly. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, add the crumble and bake at 350 °F for about 25 minutes, stirring when halfway done. The crumble should be golden and crunchy. Lightly butter a baking pan. Cut the grapes in half and arrange in the pan. Sprinkle with the lime juice, drizzle with the agave syrup or honey, and cook under the grill for 10 minutes; the grapes should turn golden and be rather soft. Transfer the grapes to a serving dish or individual plates, sprinkle with the spiced crumble, and serve with ice cream.
BAKED CHICKEN WITH GRAPES, TARRAGON AND FENNEL LEAVES
(Serves four to six)
30 g (1 oz) fresh tarragon and fennel leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup white wine extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
Rinse the chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in an ovenproof pan with the crushed garlic. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Add the wine and cook down. Add the onions and some of the minced herbs. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 °F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add the grapes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking uncovered for 35 minutes; the chicken should be golden, and the grapes and onions soft. Sprinkle the remaining minced herbs over the chicken and serve.
LENTIL AND RAISIN SALAD WITH BEAN SAUCE
(Serves four)200 g (7 oz) dried lentils, 2 cloves garlic, 1 bay leaf, parsley, 40 g (1.4 oz) raisins, 1 carrot, 1/4 red onion ,1 chunk celeriac, juice of a half a lemon, juice and half an orange, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 250 g (8.8 oz) boiled or canned beans, 2 tbsp plain yogurt, pinch of ground cumin, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
Rinse the lentils and put in a pot with a crushed clove of garlic, the bay leaf and the parsley. Cover with less than 1/2” of water, bring to a boil and cook on low for 30 minutes; the lentils should be soft but not fall apart. Drain the lentils and place in a bowl. Remove the garlic,bay leaf and parsley. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside to cool.Rub the inside of another bowl with the remaining clove of garlic. Add the drained beans, yogurt, cumin, a little salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice. Blend until creamy using a stick blender, adding a little water if the mixture is too thick. Soak the raisins in the lukewarm orange juice for 10 minutes. Drain and set the juice aside. Mince the carrot, onion and celeriac, and add to the lentils. Stir in the raisins. Prepare an emulsion with the orange juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the lentils and toss. Set aside for 15 minutes and then serve with the bean sauce.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH CONCORD GRAPE COMPOTE
20 g (2.5 tbsp) powdered sugar about 1 tbsp butter
300 g (10.5 oz) Concord grapes
30 g (1/8 cup) granulated sugar juice and part of the zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean
1 piece whole cinnamon
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Melt the chocolate with the butter and vanilla seeds bain-marie. Set aside to cool. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the chocolate mixture one at a time, beating well. Set aside. Beat the whites to soft peaks, adding the powdered sugar when the whites are foamy: you should have a soft meringue. Using a spatula, fold the beaten egg whites into
the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mousse into glasses and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut some of the grapes in half and leave the rest whole. Simmer all the grapes for 15 minutes with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and zest, swirling the pan. Cool. Serve the mousse with the grape compote.