Our vineyard pretty much consists of one humongous and gnarly grape vine with lots of bunches of little grapes on it about now. Since we just recently bought our tiny bit of paradise, we have no idea what kind of grapes they are. They taste good. They’re small. They can’t decide if they’re white or red.
So, what to do with them? Schiacciata con l’uva, that’s what. It’s a flat bread, a sort of filled focaccia. But it has some interesting twists. There are two layers of dough with grapes between them. You press the top layer so that the trapped grapes get crushed to make a gooey center. Our little grapes are seen on the top layer of dough in the picture (click it to see it bigger). There’s some luscious olive oil bathing the grapes in rivelets filling the low spots in the white clouds of dough. It’s not just good oil, it’s been infused with some rosemary. You can see specks of sugar. Some folks use large crystals of salt on top.
So you might say, hey, what’s with the sugar, the grapes, rosemary and olive oil? I can tell you, it’s a good combination. Much better than spaghetti with “Italian Dressing” and milk (see: The Worse Spaghetti Every? if you can stomach it). It’s also a traditional food. According to the schiacciata recipe I used from Divina Cucina, “It’s a true classic; you can see it pictured on the frescos in Etruscan tombs! “
I can tell you, it was yummy. And it’s just flour and yeast dough, but the grapes make it seem all creamy inside. My friend who is lactose intolerant thought he’d have to take a pill—but there’s no butter, no eggs, no milk or cream. Surprise!
It’s sorta the ultimate in Cucina Povera sorta food. When grapes are plentiful and cheap, you make something quite filling out of them for the family.
And I like that there are hundreds of variations. Some folks use wine grapes with seeds intact—for the crunch. Some use a baking powder dough as if making a coffee cake. I’m not so sure I’d like that version. We even make our Sunday morning waffles with yeast-raised dough.
Anyway, here it is cooling: