Friday’s Hot Tip: What’s Cookin’?

Last May I read Signora da Vinci, a fascinating and fun historical novel about Leonardo daVinci’s mother. Several times in the book, the narrator referred to a special dish she would make from grapes and olives. The fictional characters who enjoyed the dish raved about it and made me want to try some myself. I’m not a foodie but I love good flavor combinations and this one sounded very intriguing.

Fortunately the author, Robin Maxwell, had the foresight to add a recipe at the end of the book. I have made it twice for parties and it’s been a big hit. While it may feel too hot to run the oven right now, I think you owe it to yourself to make this compote for your next happy hour or gathering. It’s very tasty with pita chips.

Grape & Olive Compote

1 bunch seedless red grapes
1 jar Kalamata olives, pits removed (use a little bit of the liquid)
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T fresh chopped thyme

Mix in ovenproof dish – I use a deep Pyrex bowl.

Bake uncovered for one hour at 350 degrees, turning every 20 minutes to recoat with oil & vinegar.

Serve warm or cold.

Got any good recipes to share? Send ’em over!