In the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, there is a recipe for quail and sausage braised with grapes. It is Judy Rodgers’ take on a Umbrian dish called Salsiccia all’Uva. The quail is an embellishment; the traditional dish is simply browned sausages nestled in a bed of cooked grapes, which is what we made. Ms. Rodgers wrote that the dish is traditionally made with wine grapes and is crunchy with their seeds, but at the Zuni Cafe, they forgo most of the seedy grapes and go for Black Emerald or Red Flame. For our dish, we just had to use what grapes we could find. We wound up with some red grapes, the variety of which I do not know. We went with red over green because the green ones were sweeter and, according to Rodgers, you want to pick grapes that are not too sweet.
The dish was a big success. Absolutely simple, just three ingredients really, but still very, very fun to make and eat. Frying grapes is weirdly satisfying. We used goat sausage in ours, but pork is more typical. Try to find sausage with fennel. This dish was part of a big goat dinner we made last week that was pretty fun. We made a goat sausage and farro soup and two different goat heart dishes. The soup was super and we’ll share it asap. The heart also was surprisingly good and we will definitely be dedicating some time and blog space to this topic soon.
Sausage with Grapes
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh Italian sausage
- 4 cups seedless grapes
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
Place the sausages in a large skillet and turn heat to medium. Cook sausages for about 15 minutes, turning from time to time. When they are brown all over, prick each sausage in a few places with a fork and cook for 5 minutes more (waiting until now to prick them will reduce fat splatter while cooking…).
When they are done, remove the sausages to a warm platter. Remove excess fat (you want a tablespoon or two in the pan) and add the grapes. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the grapes collapse. Add vinegar or lemon juice, stir, and turn off the heat. Serve sausages nestled in grapes.