Well Dined


Food ‘n Flix – Sideways

This is my second month to be a part of the Food 'n Flix bloggers' circle (see here for my first month).  This month is hosted by Tina at Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor; and she has chosen the movie Sideways to be our inspiration.

Sideways is a movie about friendship, relationships, happiness, and most of all - WINE.  Set in Napa Valley, vineyards and wineries provide the background to the film and wine almost becomes a character itself.

I wanted to make something that would feel like it belonged in Napa Valley, and that would pair well with wine.  I thought about coffee rubbed pork with a wine sauce, or braised ribs, but eventually I settled down on something simple and fresh - Focaccia with grapes, rosemary, pine nuts, olive oil, and sea salt served with fresh homemade ricotta.

This combination would be perfect for a picnic in a vineyard - like the one that the characters have.  And what better way to enjoy wine than by honoring the fruit that it is made from?

Sit down with a big glass of red wine and some fresh focaccia hot out of the oven, relax, and enjoy the funny, sad, and realistic movie Sideways.

Foccacia with Grapes and Rosemary
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
makes 2 nine-inch rounds

3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp milk, slightly warmed
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved red seedless grapes
1 tsp fresh rosemary needles
2 tbsp raw or coarse sugar
2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 tsp pine nuts, optional

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the water, milk, sugar, and yeast. Let the mixture sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil to the yeast mixture and mix well on low. Attach the dough hook, raise the speed to medium-low and knead the dough for 8 minutes longer. (You can stir this together by hand with a wooden spoon, then knead it on a floured counter, but it will be a bit more tricky.)

Brush a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil. Scrape dough into the bowl and brush the top with additional oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a cool place until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Press the dough down with a floured hand. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two balls. Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil, place the balls of dough on them and brush the top with more oil. Set aside for 20 minutes, lightly covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. After 20 minutes, dip your fingers in olive oil and press and stretch each ball of dough into a 8 to 9-inch circle. It will be dimpled from your fingers. Cover again with the towel and let it rise for another 1 1/4 hours in a cool place.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush tops of dough with remaining olive oil and top the sprinkle grapes, rosemary, pine nuts, coarse sugar and coarse sea salt evenly over the dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and puffed around edges. Let cool before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For how to make your own Ricotta (miles above the store bough kind) go here: Homemade Ricotta.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Oh yes, this is the perfect thing for packing in a picnic basket and heading to wine country! I think I’ll be trying this with my grapes once they’re ready this year! Yummmmmy!

  2. That is a meal in itself. I keep thinking about the Omar Khayam lines:

    “A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
    A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!”

    Great Food n’ Flix post!

  3. I really enjoyed your post and the ricotta being homemade – wow! I apologize for the name error (I had big celebrations for birthday weekend and fear my mind wasn’t 100% haha) but I have corrected it.
    Thank you very much for participating!!

  4. Great choice of dishes, fantastic tip on making homemade ricotta and an all around terrific post! Welcome to Food -n- Flix!!

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