Recipe 2: Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce

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Recipe 2

Recipe 2: Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s Raisin and Pine Nut Agrodolce Sauce (“sweet and sour”)

This recipe has origins in ancient Roman cuisine. Vinegar, used to preserve food, also seasoned food. There were few restrictions on the mixtures of sweet and savory ingredients. Here honey and vinegar combine to make a sauce suitable for all kinds of meats and fish. As you make this recipe, you employ several senses: smell to know when the pignoli are done, sight to see when they’re browned, taste to judge the amount of salt. And?

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup warm water
½ cup pine nuts (pignoli; get the ones grown in Turkey or California)
2 cups red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Tb fennel seeds
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Cover the raisins in a small bowl with the warm water, and let stand about 10 minutes. Drain.

In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat til fragrant and golden brown, about four minutes. Watch carefully, they burn quickly. Let cool.

In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, honey, red onion and fennel seeds. Simmer over moderate heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. This might take 20-25 minutes. Put in a heatproof bowl to let cool.

Stir raisins, pine nuts, grapes and olive oil into the syrup. Season with salt, serve.

  1. The structure of the recipe

  2. Technique and method

  3. Ingredients

  4. Other signifiers, such as: does it provide information on “servings” or “people?” Is there information on how to obtain ingredients? Is there any contextualization in a heading or other notes? For what sort of cook is the recipe written?

  5. Where would this item fit in a culturally determined menu or way of eating?

  6. What does this recipe say “in conversation” with the week’s topic, readings, film and discussion?

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