An after dinner drink which is made from distilling the leftover skin and seeds from pressed grapes that were grown in Italy and used for Italian wines, grappa generally has little or no color and a strong, fiery flavor. It was originally known as the poor man’s brandy since it was inexpensive to make, however today it is known more for its refined, but acquired taste. Grappa is not only excellent as an after dinner drink, but it is also great as a cooking ingredient, like in the recipe below.
Grape and Grappa Risotto
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1⁄2 cup grappa
6 cups chicken stock, heated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
salt and freshly ground pepper
In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and toast for 3 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the grappa and cook until the grappa evaporates. Add the stock in 1⁄2-cup increments, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and grapes and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter and Parmigiano, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4
- This recipe was featured in the November 2010 issue of our e-magazine Cibo. To subscribe, please click here.