Weekend Therapy

Corn Pancake with Slow-baked Tomatoes and Salted Grapes

Weekend is finally here. After doing my weekly grocery shopping, it is now time to relax a little after a super busy week of work, work and work. I haven´t been focused like that for a while, and at the end of most days I was left with nothing but feeling of exhaustion. Even sleep has not been so proper. But physical exhaustion was nothing compared with the dryness I felt at times when ideas seemed to disappear or refuse to work. I have been struggling hard but for the first time this year, I felt like I was doing something worthwhile. But sometimes it is better to put everything aside to nourish yourself. Put on a not-so-commercial CD, read some poems from an old favorite poet and enjoy a light summer meal, I do feel better. Why not enjoy another lazy day before a busy Sunday and a mad week ahead?

Bobby Flynn's EP Art Work

Bobby Flynn´s EP Art Work. Love the CD and this artistic cover.

No, the dish I feature is not something quickly to assemble. But preparing it is not stressful, hence, perfect for a lazy Saturday like today. The salted grapes (yes, there are salted grapes!) and slow roasted tomatoes can cook itself in the oven. And the pancake takes literally less than 15 minutes to assemble. What you have in the end is a wonderful light meal with the perfect balance of natural sweetness from summer produces. I have called them Corn Pancake with Slow-roasted Tomatoes and Salted Grapes. Rather long, but well, it will do for now.

I guess some of you are interested in the salted grapes. I must admit I am not a very big fan of grapes, but salted grapes are beautiful condiment to any salad and fish dishes. These are basically slow-baked grapes with sea salt and olive oil. I have experimented to bake them with and without skins, and the ones without skin absorb the saltiness and have a lovely balance of salty-sweet flavours. So it is better to remove the skin of grapes if you want to make salted grapes. It doesn´t take too long I can assure you.

To make salted grapes, it is important that you get grapes that are not too sweet. They should not be too acidic either. A balance of these two factors is quite essential, so get tasting!

Before proceeding to the recipe, just a note that I am submitting this entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, an event created by Kalyn. This week edition is hosted by Simona of Briciole.

Corn Pancake with Slow-baked Tomatoes and Salted Grapes

How to make salted grapes? (Inspired from this book). Firstly, preheat your oven to the lowest setting. Blanch 500g of grapes in hot water for a few seconds then skin them. Arrange grapes in an oven tray. Drizzle liberally with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Bake for about 3-4 hours or until the grapes wrinkle lightly. The grapes should still be lumpy and juicy. Store in sterilized jar with a film of oil on top. These grapes will keep well in the fridge for 1 week. Use them in salad and to accompany fish.

Now, the pancakes. The idea is inspired from another book (we can never have enough cookbooks, do we?), but I have changed the recipe considerably to make it lighter and vegetarian.

Firstly, you need to make some slow-roasted tomatoes. To do this, simply put sliced blanched tomatoes to the oven with the salted grapes above (use separate tray). Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 3-4 hours. I used about three vine-ripened tomatoes and ate all of them with joy!

For the corn pancakes (this amounts serve 3-4): 2 fresh corns, 125g plain flour, 2 eggs, 1 level tbsp baking powder, 200 ml milk, chopped parsley. Oil to fry.

Separate the corn kernels from the cobs. Mix everything together except the parsley until smooth. Add parsley and season to taste. Heat little oil in a non-stick pan, drop spoonfuls of batter and fry two sides until golden brown. Keep warm.

To assemble the dish, serve the pancakes with roasted tomatoes, some salted grapes and a few spinach leaves. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar if desired.

Lemon Thyme

And this is a random photo of my home-grown lemon thyme!

35 Responses to Weekend Therapy

  1. Shella says:

    Hey never tried baking grapes, but I love grapes salted with rock salt. They taste yumm. Nice recipe & I am sure it tasted great

  2. Wendy says:

    This is very pretty, Anh! I’m desperate to try this out. In fact, I’m going to do so tomorrow. Thank you. :)

  3. maybahay says:

    the salted grapes are so intriguing. this sounds like a wonderfully light and tasty meal.

  4. Maryann says:

    I’ve never made salted grapes. Very interesting. BTW congrats on your photo prizes Anh!

  5. Kalyn says:

    I also haven’t heard of salted grapes, but what a great idea. I bet the combination of grapes and roasted tomatoes is wonderful.

  6. Andaliman says:

    What a tasty meal, Anh.

  7. Manggy says:

    (Welcome back, Anh haha :) Wow! This looks and sounds really rejuvenating. I hope you’re able to work with renewed energy now.

  8. Pam says:

    Sometimes spending time cooking can be so calming and rejuvinating, can’t it? Your dish is lovey!

  9. Y says:

    Love the idea of using salted grapes, Anh. Great combination of flavours, what with the corn pancakes and tomatoes!

  10. katiez says:

    Very intrigued by the salted grapes. I can see doing it with the seedless grapes one can get in the U.S. but our grapes seem to have such large pips…and so many..

  11. SteamyKitchen says:

    That is the most elegant photo of thyme I’ve ever seen! Beautiful.

  12. Lucy says:

    Well, peeling grapes is a form of therapy!

  13. Lydia says:

    I am completely addicted to grapes, but never heard of salted or baked grapes. No doubt I’ll be trying this within the next few days — thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Simona says:

    Salted grapes: how interesting! This dish sounds amazing, slowly coming together, and your photos are wonderful.

  15. Barbara says:

    Salted grapes? Sounds fascinating.

  16. Anh says:

    Shella, thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

  17. Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen says:

    The salted grapes look so interesting! I will have to try it. And put all toghether in this recipe…sounds delicious

  18. sher says:

    Fascinating! I’ve never had grapes fixed this way–but it sounds delicious. And the whole dish looks very, very satisfying, and spirit lifting. :)

  19. indosungod says:

    Anh, looks lovely, salted grapes , tomatoes with the pancakes, delicious.

  20. Sandeepa says:

    Oh Anh you are super, you take time out of your busy schedule to cook up such nice dishes. baked grapes sound so yumm.

  21. Dhanggit says:

    i love that lemon thyme photo :-)!! great idea for the salted grapes..;just like you im not such a grapey person too but this will give grapes a new touch and look..will surely try this

  22. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Oh, Anh! This looks good – and so different!

  23. Anh says:

    Ronell, thanks for such kind words.

  24. Cynthia says:

    Hey! I thought you were going to be away for a few weeks! Addicted huh :)

  25. Laurie Constantino says:

    My, does this look good. I’m always on the lookout for grape recipes, as we are inundated with them in the fall, and this looks so good. Like Katie, I’ll have to deal with the pips, but this looks worth the effort. Thanks!

  26. tigerfish says:

    This sound too exotic. Awesome.

  27. Figs Olives Wine says:

    This is just stunningly pretty, Anh! I’m loving our winter, but I do miss fresh herbs in my water, and roasted, salted grapes are one of my all-time favorites.

  28. ilingc says:

    Anh, salted grapes sounds very interesting. I love sweet and salty things so I will definitely give them ago and let you know :)

  29. Deborah says:

    I have never heard of salted grapes before – what an interesting concept!! I want to try this when summer hits here again.

  30. Cris says:

    I have never had salted grapes, in fact, I had never heard of them. :-) Thanks for sharing this, the pictures are just so beautiful! I am curious about the lemon thyme… I have “original” thyme at home. :-)

  31. Christine says:

    I really like cooking with grapes. The salted grapes are very interesting. Your lovely thyme is telling me I need to grow my own herbs!

  32. swirlingnotions says:

    LOVE the idea of salted grapes! I love anything with the salty-sweet twist (like a dusting of Maldon on the bottom of the pan before pouring the brownie mixture in). Tahnks so much!

  33. sunita says:

    Anh, your pictures are simply mind blowing…and that’s an interesting concept wit grapes…hmmmm

  34. Katy says:

    yum! and i love the picture of the thyme!

  35. Amy says:

    This looks delicious! Salted grapes and roasted tomatoes yum!

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