Silky sweet flesh poised between the sharp tartness of skin and seed, New Zealand table grapes grace us for a short time. A fleeting moment, their brief local season reminds me of hot childhood days in the Hamilton, plump ripe grapes fecund on the vine.
I loved popping out the center and carefully avoiding the bitter astringency of the cracked pip.
If you can’t get local grapes use the red or purple ones, they’ll look more dramatic against the ricotta.
I used Zany Zeus ricotta and crunchy Acme bread toasted on the barbeque. I had the grill on for the later course of butterflied lamb, so it made sense. You can just toast under a grill although the smokiness played counterpoint to the clean milky ricotta and the fragranced sweetness of the thyme roasted grapes.
Fresh thyme sprigs
good bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
fresh ricotta, preferably not a commercial brand or homemade
Preheat oven to 220ºC Spread grapes onto a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Lay thyme leaves over top. Toss all together gently with your hands.
Place pan in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until grapes look about to burst.
Toast the bread- i used my barbeque grill but keep an eye out, they burn quickly.
Delicious with a gin and tonic, bubbly or aromatic.