The flavor of this simple dish is so crazy good, it could have been invented by the Wizard of Oz. After all, despite his shortcomings, he was able to convince seemingly ordinary folk that they contained the seeds of greatness they needed to make their fondest dreams come true. This easy combination of unlikely flavors is truly great, so I hope I can convince you to try it. It can make your dreams of a special and easy week night dinner come true. Prepare to fly over the rainbow.
Makes 4 servings
1 large Spanish onion ( or any other yellow onion will do)
4 tbsps. Extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups red seedless grapes, destemmed.
1 tsp. fennel, caraway, coriander or cumin seeds
1 pounds of sausages, any kind ( I used mild Italian sausages)
½ cup chopped parsley
2 tsp. sherry or rice vinegar
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the onion. The slices should be neither too thin nor too thick. Very thinly sliced onions tend to burn and stick to the sheet pan. I would probably shy away from a high sugar content onion, such as a Vidalia to prevent burning. Toss the onion slices with 2 tbsps. of the olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Spread the onions in a single layer on the sheet pan and roast them for 10 minutes. Check after about 8 minutes to make sure they are not burning.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and add the grapes and seeds of your choice. I used caraway because it was what I had in my pantry. Toss the grapes, seeds and onions with the remaining 2 tbsps. of olive oil. Spread out into a single layer, and nestle the sausages in amongst the grapes and onions.
Place the sheet pan back in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Halfway through, flip the sausages and toss the fruit.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Remove the sausages, grapes and onions to a platter or serving bowl. Pour 2 tsps. of sherry vinegar on the pan and scrape up any browned bits. Combine with the pan juices. Stir and pour into a small bowl. At this point, you can pour the sauce over the sausage mixture, or you can pass it on the side.
I promise you will be astonished at how wonderful this meal tastes. The sweetness of the roasted grapes with the tangy vinegar is a combination made in heaven. If you wish, you can serve the sausages and fruit over egg noodles, polenta or rice. Or you can simply serve them in a bowl. Do whatever suits your fancy. This recipe is ultimately customizable. You can try making it with different sausages, seeds and vinegars to change it up a bit.
The recipe reminded me of a roasted grape appetizer I was once served in a restaurant. The grapes were cooked with a little chopped rosemary, creating a wonderful combination of flavors. Accordingly, I think I will use finely chopped rosemary in place of the seeds next time.
Make this meal and create a little wizardry right in your own kitchen. After all, in the times of Covid-19, there’s no place like home.
“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.”
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain