Roasted Sausages with Red Grapes

I served this quick meal last night after an impromptu trip to the grocery store. The idea of sausages and grapes together was putting Jeremy off, but he agreed to give it a try. It was extremely easy to make, though it dirtied quite a few dishes. We served it with steamed broccoli and fresh sourdough bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic, and homemade chocolate velvet ice cream for dessert. Next time I’d try to find a milder flavored sausage, perhaps a chicken sausage, as the type we got tasted strongly of fennel and made it difficult for me to taste the grape flavor. But fennel isn’t my favorite, so your mileage may vary.

Roasted Sausages with Red Grapes

This surprisingly simple dish is all about the ingredients. Use the best you can find, and make sure the sausage isn’t too strongly seasoned.

2-3 mild chicken or pork Italian sausages, about 12 ounces total
½ lb red seedless grapes, preferably organic
2 scant T olive oil
½ – 1 T balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 475F. Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Lay the sausages in the skillet, and cook them, turning once, until nicely browned, about 8 minutes total.

While the sausages are cooking, remove the grapes from their stems, rinse them under cool water, drain them, and place them in a bowl. Add the olive oil, and toss.

When the sausages are browned, place them in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish, and dump the grapes on top of and around them. Slide the dish into the oven, and bake for 25 minutes, turning the sausages once after about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and move the sausages to a platter or individual plates. Pour the grapes and their juices into a small saucepan, season with a pinch of salt, and place the saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the grapes bubble and sizzle and their juices are syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vinegar, and pour the grapes over the sausages. Yield: 2 servings

Source: Gourmet and Matthew Amster-Burton, care of Orangette

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