Make Ahead

Ricotta with Honeyed Grapes

March 16, 2011
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

My husband and I went on a date a little while back to a new-ish Italian restaurant in the area. The food was all fabulous, but the thing that stuck with me was the bread we got before the meal. Not the bread, actually, but the fresh ricotta drizzled with a sweet-savory grape compote and olive oil that came with the bread. I would have been happy eating just that all evening. This is my attempt at recreating it. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

Fiveandspice has created an irresistible starter that leaves little to be desired. First, she has you make a delicate white grape compote which, on its own, tends toward savory thanks to a healthy measure of minced shallots. However, once you dress the fluffy, creamy ricotta in the compote, add a splash of good quality olive oil for richness, slather the mixture on some crusty bread and balance the bite with a sprinkle of fleur de sel – absolute perfection. One bite is a swirling symphony of textures and flavors; I can see how she would have been happy eating it all evening -- I certainly was. - gingerroot —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 cups green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey (if your grapes are on the sour side, rather than sweet side, you might want to use 2)
  • 1 cup good quality fresh whole milk ricotta, homemade is best
  • 1 loaf fresh crusty Italian bread, sliced
  • really good floral olive oil
  • fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt
  1. In a smallish saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the grapes, honey, and white wine. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes, covered for 5 of them, stirring occasionally, until the grapes have collapsed. If it looks like it's drying out, add a splash of water. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. On a plate, mound the ricotta in the center. (Or divide it between 2 plates, one for each end of the table. Or you could even give everyone a little individual plate.) Drizzle generously with olive oil (a couple of tablespoons, at least). Then scoop the grape compote all over the top. Serve with the bread for spreading it on, and a finger bowl of the salt for sprinkling on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FAL
  • Debra Cowie
    Debra Cowie
  • petitbleu
  • boulangere
  • QueenSashy

24 Reviews

Suzanne L. September 6, 2021
Just delicious! Included it on my Rosh Hashanah spread and it was a huge hit.
FAL July 4, 2015
This recipe sounds outstanding and i will be trying it soon, but i would appreciate some input please. I know absolutely nothing about wine....what type would you suggest i use? I see so many recipes that call for different types and whenever i ask what type the answer is always that they cannot suggest one BRAND over another...i am talking type here...thank you in advance.
fiveandspice July 15, 2015
I think it's really hard to recommend one brand or another because many different brands (ie specific vineyards) will work and what to use depends on your price point and what's available to you in your wine store. Many wines aren't available everywhere - except for the very very biggest brands and those often aren't your best bet. I'd see if you can find an informed sales person at your liquor store and ask what they would recommend from what is available there.
Lucia H. June 4, 2015
How do you feel about putting this over some burrata?
fiveandspice June 6, 2015
I think it would be fantastic!
Debra C. April 2, 2014
Made this for a "wine and cheese" evening with friends on the weekend. It was a big hit. Everyone was intrigued by it on the table and when I told them what was in it, they dove right in. What a great combination of flavours.
petitbleu March 27, 2014
This sounds super yummy! And what a clean, simple dessert. I'm in love!
beejay45 March 16, 2014
What a great idea! I so love it when you find a new flavor combination. I, too, can't wait to make it my own. Thanks, fiveandspice for sharing this. The good old Thompson seedless has a new and exotic suit of clothes. ;)
boulangere October 28, 2012
I'm so glad this was chosen as a CP. I was one of the lucky testers, and prepared it as an appetizer for a buffet lunch. People were intrigued by a new vision of the humble grape, and loved it. Warm congratulations.
fiveandspice October 28, 2012
Thanks so much B! I'm so grateful to you for testing my recipe! And thrilled that everyone enjoyed it. Your congratulations mean a lot to me. :)
QueenSashy October 25, 2012
fiveandspice congrats on being the community pick -- though I so rooted for you to be in the finals, I absolutely loved you dish!
fiveandspice October 26, 2012
Thank you so much for your kind words QueenSashy! I'm so excited to hear how much you liked the recipe! Thanks for letting me know. :)
wssmom March 17, 2011
"Things I can't stop eating ..." hahaha! Yet so true! Delish!
fiveandspice March 17, 2011
Hehe, just being honest.
TheWimpyVegetarian March 16, 2011
Perfect flavors!
fiveandspice March 16, 2011
Thank you ChezSuzanne! You're so kind.
healthierkitchen March 16, 2011
Sounds really delicious.
fiveandspice March 16, 2011
MrsWheelbarrow March 16, 2011
Delicious combination.
fiveandspice March 16, 2011
Thank you MrsWheelbarrow!
lastnightsdinner March 16, 2011
This sounds fabulous! And I love your tags :)
fiveandspice March 16, 2011
Thanks! I've been inspired by others and am trying to make my tags a little more exciting!
hardlikearmour March 16, 2011
What a perfect appetizer! ?
fiveandspice March 16, 2011
Thank you HLA! I'm bringing it to a tapas party tonight, so we'll see how it goes over in that guise as well.