Sourdough focaccia with grapes, fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt found its way to our kitchen last week. Loosely adapted from the classic Italian grape bread or schiacciata con l’uva, this sourdough focaccia with grapes and rosemary takes an even more rustic approach – omitting enrichment by egg and sugar in favor of only the most basic of ingredients: levain or sourdough starter, whole grain flour, grapes, rosemary, coarse and chunky unrefined sea salt – all doused by a heavy application of full-bodied and fruity unrefined extra virgin olive oil.
In our version of schiacciata con l’uva, we top sourdough focaccia with grapes, rosemary, coarse sea salt and unrefined extra virgin olive oil. A heavy sprinkling of coarsely ground black pepper doesn’t hurt either, I might add. Concord grapes, though an American varietal, prove a near-perfect choice for this classic bread which typically uses grape wines. The Concord grape, peppery and almost foxy in its finish, is a magical and transformational fruit.
Intensely grapey in flavor with its thick and deep-hued purple skin and a pale green interior, the Concord grape outshines the characterless red and green table grapes you typically find in the produce section of your supermarket. It’s a small, round grape that rolls along your tongue, and, like any overbearing mother, the Concord grape is not one to yield her seeds easily; she fiercely grips them and it takes some effort to first pierce the grape’s skin and then wield the seeds from her tart, green flesh.