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Recipes & Drink Recommendations


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Pasta Ramatuelle
Reprinted with permission from From Asparagus to Zucchini, MACSAC

1 cup packed fresh basil
1 small onion
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil or to taste
3 large garlic cloves
5 or 6 fresh tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound rotini or other pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Blend all ingredients except pasta and cheese in blender or food processor. Cook rotini, drain and mix with basil/tomato mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Star Recommends: Parker Station Pinot Noir
This is a nicely structured Pinot Noir exhibiting cherry, mint, leather and spice characteristics on the nose. The palate is big, round and supple with prominent cherry and cranberry fruit flavors.

Provençal Potatoes
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Fast Food by Rose Elliot

1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled if desired and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Directions: Sauté the onion in the olive oil 5 minutes, then add garlic and tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Meanwhile cook potatoes in salted water 7-10 minutes, until just tender. Drain well. Combine sauce, potatoes and half the olives in an ovenproof dish; season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining olives and shaved Parmesan cheese and broil until golden. Serves 2.

Star Recommends: Plume Bleue
Dark and sinister in color, this little Plume Bleue has lovely and rich aromas of plums with wild herbs and earthy musk. Medium-bodied with a vigorous palate, a little chewy, a fruit forward character, with a smoky and mellow finish.

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Mediterranean Tofu
Recipe by Nava Atlas, www.vegkitchen.com. Reprinted with permission.

2 16-ounce tubs firm tofu, drained
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced ripe tomato (make the dice fairly small)
1/4 cup oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips, with a little of their liquid
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A few leaves fresh basil, cut into strips

Directions: Cut each block of tofu into 6 equal slabs. Blot very well between layers of clean tea towel or paper towels. Spread the olive oil over the surface of a 12-inch square griddle or extra-wide skillet and heat. Arrange the slabs of tofu in a single layer, and cook over medium-high heat until golden on both sides. Sprinkle the tofu with a little salt. Meanwhile, heat the extra-virgin oil in a smaller skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the fresh and dried tomatoes and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat just until the fresh tomato wilts a bit and is well heat through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, fan out 3 slices of the tofu on each place and divide the tomato-garlic sauce over them. Top each serving with a few strips of basil. Serve at once.

Star Recommends: Casamaro Tinto
Instead of a heavy, boorish international style, this Rueda wine offers fresh red berry aromas, exuberance and drinkability. It’s a red to serve a little chilled on a hot August day!

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Spicy Tomato Tempeh
Reprinted with permission from Simply In Season, Herald Press

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. paprika
8 ounces tempeh, cut into bite sized cubes
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. paprika
1/4 tsp. crushed red chilies
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. brown sugar
Balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste

Directions: Combine olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and 1-tsp. paprika in a medium bowl. Add tempeh cubes and toss to coat. Spread out on baking sheet and roast in preheated 375° oven, until browned, about 30 minutes. Stir after the first 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in deep skillet, sauté green pepper, onion and garlic in 2 Tbs. olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining seasonings and cook over medium-high heat until mixture is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring and cook 2-3 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add roasted tempeh, brown sugar, a dash of balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Serve over brown rice, pasta or polenta.

Star Recommends: Coltibuono Chianti Classico RS
This red shows an intense ruby color and forest berry notes with spicy overtones. Full-flavored and soft with well-balanced acidity, a clean and persistent aftertaste.

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Southwestern Summer Succotash
Recipe by Nava Atlas, www.vegkitchen.com. Reprinted with permission.

1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups fresh uncooked corn kernels (from about 4 medium ears)
1 heaping cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup water
2 small yellow summer squashes, diced
1 small hot green chili pepper, seeded and minced, or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Steam the green beans until they are tender-crisp. Refresh under cold water until they stop steaming and set aside until needed. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat until the onion is translucent. Add all the remaining ingredients except the green beans and stir together well. Cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until the corn and squash are just done. Add the steamed green beans and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Star Recommends: Parker Station Chardonnay
This white wine shows a nose of melons, pears, and light toast. Ripe apple, melon, pear, and citrus notes make for a refreshing, crisp sensation on the palate.

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Eggplant Cheese Pie
Reprinted with permission from Simply In Season, Herald Press

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
4 1/2 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 egg

Directions: In large skillet, sauté eggplant, onion and garlic in olive oil about 2 minutes. Cover and cook until eggplant is softened, about 5 minutes, stirring as needed. Add oregano, basil and salt to taste and remove from heat. Line bottom and sides of a greased 10-inch pie pan with the zucchini slices. Spoon in eggplant mixture. Combine cheese, egg and milk in a bowl and pour over vegetables. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 30 minutes.

Star Recommends: Verget VDP de Vaucluse
A luscious effort from the south of France, this white serves up flavors of ripe core fruits and vibrant minerality; crisp and lively in the finish.

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Roasted Tomato Soup
Recipe adapted from The Essential Eating Well Cookbook

8-10 ripe tomatoes cut in half and seeded
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Fruity olive oil, plain yogurt or garlic croutons for garnish

Directions: Preheat broiler or grill. Lightly oil a baking sheet with sides. Spread tomatoes, cut side down, in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil or grill until skins are well blistered, about 10 minutes. When tomatoes are cool slip off the skins and coarsely chop the tomato flesh. Heat olive oil in 2-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook about five minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until the onions are very soft. Combine tomatoes and onion mixture in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, and then return vegetables to pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about five minutes. Remove soup from heat and stir in chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover soup and refrigerate at least two hours. To serve garnish each bowl with a swirl of olive oil or yogurt or croutons and ribbons of basil.

Star Recommends: Castell dei Remei Gotim Bru
Very well balanced and smooth for such a big wine. It has loads of dark fruit and currant with a bit of spice and licorice. This is an awesome value!

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Sweet Corn Cheddar Pancakes
Reprinted with permission from From Asparagus to Zucchini, MACSAC

2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 Tbs. corn or olive oil
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 Tbs. finely chopped green onion
1 to 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1/2 to 1 cup cooked or grilled corn kernels
Additional oil for cooking pancakes
Salsa of choice
Sour cream

Directions: Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix egg, buttermilk and oil in separate bowl and stir into dry ingredients. Fold in cheese, green onions, cilantro and corn kernels. Heat a large, heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat several minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and brush with cooking oil. Ladle batter onto hot griddle, 1/4 cup per pancake. Cook until bottoms of pancakes are golden brown and set. Flip and cook on other side until done. Serve hot with salsa and sour cream. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

Star Recommends: Xarmant Txakoli
Tough to pronounce but easy to like on a hot night. This wine from the Basque country is almost glaringly bright, with green apple and lemon-lime fruit that is tart but not sour.

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