Robin Maxwell, author of Signora da Vinci, emailed me this morning on the olive & grape compote recipe and she asked: “Without the oil (you use only a splast) and balsamic vinegar to create a "juice" to simmer in, does it come out dry, or do the grapes produce a juice? Lately, I've been suggesting using even more oil and vinegar than is stated in the recipe, and also cooking it longer. One of my readers who tried the recipe used a potato masher to mash the compote after cooking, so that the grapes and olives don't fall off the bread.”
My grapes were juicy and tart so I didn’t really need the vinegar and I used a clay pot to roast the compote so things stayed juicy, but I’m going to revise the original post and recipe to include Ms. Maxwell’s comments because this is the kind of recipe that evolves over time as everyone puts their own spin on it.
Ms. Maxwell also told me about her upcoming book, O. Juliet, so if you are a fan of historical novels, Florence, romance, Romeo, iambic pentameter, then you should take a look at her new blog. I’m trying to talk her into coming to Montone where the spirit of our own Braccio Fortebraccio could be the next inspiration for a project.