Roasted sausages with grapes and chestnuts

Now Fall is coming, I think of roasted and baked dishes, especially this one with the woodsy flavor of the roasted chestnuts and sticky sweetness of the grapes along with the divine sausages. Some simple mashed potato would suffice here.

Serves 4

8 good quality pork sausages
7 oz cooked vacuum packed chestnuts
10 oz Portobello mushrooms, cut into thick chunks
9 oz sweet seedless grapes
1 large onion, cut into half moon shaped wedges
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 whole garlic bulb, all the cloves separated but not peeled
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 good sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
10 fl oz red wine
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Put everything except the red wine into a broad, shallow ovenproof dish.
Turn the ingredients over so that they get coated in the olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, crush about half of the grapes so they release their juices into the pan.
Put into the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
Put in the red wine, mix well and cook for another 25 minutes or so. You can turn the sausages halfway through the cooking so they get colored on both sides.
The sausages and vegetables will cook and brown beautifully and the wine will reduce, leaving you with a gorgeous dark and bubbling dish.

 

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Roasted black grapes!

 

These are gorgeous spooned over a  double cream Brie or a St Andre triple cream on a cracker!!

Preheat the oven to 425 F

1 heaping cup of sweet black seedless grapes, rinsed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white Balsamic vinegar
juice of half a small lemon
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
fresh thyme leaves

Toss the whole grapes with salt and pepper, a little olive oil, white balsamic, a splash of lemon juice and fresh thyme.
Toss everything together and spread it out on a baking sheet.
Roast the whole lot in a hot oven for about 15 minutes, giving the pan a shake a couple of times during the cooking.
It will end up slightly squishy and shrivelled with an intense grape flavor and a beautifully sweet sauce.

Transfer to a pretty serving dish, making sure you get all the good sauce and serve with cheese and plain crackers or crusty bread.

Bobby Flay’s chilled white gazpacho

Very refreshing and luxurious!

1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 & 1/2 cups white seedless grapes
1 cup white grape juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups country white bread, crusts removed and cubed
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 – 3 tbsp verjus (vermouth, champagne vinegar or a medium white wine are all good substitutes)
2 -3 tbsp walnut oil
chopped chives for garnish
toasted slivered almonds for garnish
small, champagne grapes are also lovely for a garnish

Place almonds, pine nuts, garlic, grapes, grape juice, water and bread in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Chill the soup for at least 30 minutes.

Remove soup from the refrigerator and fold in the cream to the soup.
Finish with a tablespoon a few tablespoons each of the walnut oil and “verjus”
Ladle into serving bowls and garnish each with chives, almonds and grapes if desired.