Artichokes, Roman-Style
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com

  • 2 lemons
  • 6 artichokes
  • 1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. mint, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • 1 Tbs. plus 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 3/4 c. boiling water

Directions: Prepare a bowl of acidulated water: Squeeze the juice of both lemons into a large bowl filled with 2-3 quarts cold water. Throw the lemon rinds in the bowl.

Slice the artichokes in half, lengthwise. Place them in the bowl of acidulated water, and take them out one at a time to prepare, returning them to the bowl as you finish. Trim each artichoke of its coarse outer leaves and slice out the fuzzy choke.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In the cavity of each artichoke half, where the choke was, place 1 teaspoon of the herb mixture. Arrange the artichokes in a deep sauté pan in which they fit snugly. Add the wine, boiling water, the last 3/4 c. of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt. Cover and simmer on the stove for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Star Recommends: Ridge Crest Unoaked Chardonnay
This unoaked chardonnay is golden in color with a deep nose of pear and a bit of vanilla. It has medium acidity and tastes of pears and apples with just a bit of vanilla to round it out. The wine should stand up to the bold flavors in this dish without overwhelming anything.


Baked Parsnip Fries with Rosemary
Adapted from www.bonappetit.com
A more sophisticated, but still just as yummy, french fry.

  • 2 1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled, cut into 3 x 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Directions: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place the parsnips, chopped rosemary and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil to coat. Spread the parsnips out in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with rosemary sprigs.
Roast for 10 minutes, then flip the parsnips over. Roast 10-15 more minutes, until the parsnips are tender and lightly browned. Crumble the rosemary leaves from the sprigs over the parsnips and discard the stems. Sprinkle with cumin and toss to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Makes 6 servings.

Star Recommends: Triumph Cellars Chardonnay
This oaked chardonnay has a lovely straw color with a nose of oak and kiwi. On the palate the wine is fruity—banana, pear, honeydew—with a heavy vanilla creaminess and just a bit of hazelnut to round it out. A bold wine that should complement this savory dish.


Strawberry Banana Fruit Leather
Adapted from ohmyveggies.com
This super easy fruit leather is fun to make and eat!

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 c. strawberries, washed, hulled
  • 1 large banana, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tbs. honey or agave (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 175˚F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet in cooking spray. Set aside. Place the strawberries and banana in a blender or a food processor, and process until smooth. Taste and add the honey or agave if it’s too tart. Pour the fruit mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread with a spatula to ensure that the fruit is spread evenly.

Bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until the fruit leather is pliable and not wet. Touch it, and if your finger leaves an indentation, it’s not quite ready. Fruit varies in water content, so your fruit leather may take a bit more or a bit less time.

Cut into strips using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Roll in wax paper and store in a covered container for up to a month.


Strawberry Icebox Cake
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
This stunning no-bake cake is surprisingly simple and showcases spring’s delicious strawberries.

  • 2 lb. strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
  • 3 1/4 c. whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. rosewater (optional)
  • 19 oz. graham crackers (about 28)
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

Directions: Using a hand mixer, whip 3 c. of the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and rosewater (if using).

Spread a small dollop of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish, and top with 6 graham crackers. Lightly cover the graham crackers with a layer of whipped cream, then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat with three more layers. Finish with a layer of whipped cream on top and the rest of the strawberries.

Pour the last 1/4 c. of whipping cream into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until bubbles form at the edges. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Whisk until it is thick and glossy. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, until the graham crackers have softened.

Star Recommends: Domaine Carneros Brut
This sparkling wine has a slightly floral nose with aromas of apples and raspberries. The wine is balanced with flavors of apple, pear and vanilla all held together with a light minerality and yeastiness. It is a great wine for a dessert or simply on its own.


Sauteéd Artichokes Baked with Mozzarella
Adapted from www.saveur.com

  • 8 artichokes (see note)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 8 oz. mozzarella, sliced thin, no thicker than 1/4”

Directions: Trim the artichokes of the tough inedible portions of their leaves. Cut into quarters. As you trim them, drop into a bowl of water with the lemon squeezed into it. You can prepare the artichokes up to this point several hours in advance. When you’re ready to cook them, drain and rinse them.

Heat olive oil and garlic cloves over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold the artichokes in a single layer without being crowded. Cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until it is light golden-brown. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Arrange the artichokes in the pan. Cook for at least 25 minutes until completely tender. Turn frequently until browned all over. If they start sticking to the pan, add 2-3 teaspoons of water and gently loosen them with a wooden spoon.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Butter an 8”x11” baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Place the artichokes and any juices from the skillet in the baking dish, and sprinkle with half of the grated parmiggiano. Top with the sliced mozzarella, then finish with the remaining grated parmiggiano and last tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces.

Bake just until the mozzarella melts and begins to turn light brown. Serve at once, with some crusty bread.

Note: If fresh artichokes are not in season, you can use 2 lbs. of frozen baby artichokes. Just cut them in half lengthwise to prepare them.

Star Recommends: Marietta Old Vine Red
This kitchen sink blend has a dark ruby color with a nose of pepper and dark fruits. On the palate the wine offers quite a bit of depth going from black cherries, cranberries toward black pepper. Despite the big flavors the wine is well rounded and never feels harsh.


Parsnip and Rosemary Risotto
Adapted from www.bonappetit.com
This rich and creamy risotto is delicious and filling.

  • 8 c. vegetable broth
  • 5 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 lbs. parsnips, peeled, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Directions: Pour the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, then cover. Melt 4 Tbs. of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the parsnips and 3 tsp. of the rosemary, and cook until parsnips start to brown, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Pour in warm broth to cover, and simmer until almost all the broth is absorbed, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth 1 cup at a time, allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding the next cup and stirring frequently, and cook until rice and parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes total.

Remove from heat and stir in the last Tbs. of butter, the last 2 tsp. of rosemary, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, and drizzle each serving with a little balsamic vinegar.
Star Recommends: Vitiano Veridicchio and Vermentino
This Italian blend is a bright straw color with a floral nose complemented with apple. The body has a mild acidity with creamy flavors of golden apples and pears. These flavors are surrounded by a minerality that balances the wine perfectly.


Creamed Spinach and Parsnips
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com
This luscious side dish can be prepared up to three days ahead.

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Tbs. canola or sunflower oil
  • 2 lbs. small parsnips, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

Directions: Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the oil and parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until the parsnips are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer over low heat until the parsnips are tender, about 8 minutes.

Fill a large, deep pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach in handfuls and blanch until just wilted, about 10 seconds. Drain and cool under cold running water. Squeeze dry, then chop. Add to the pot of parsnips.

Melt the last 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is lightly browned, after about 4 minutes, whisk in the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half and nutmeg and some salt and pepper and bring to a boil, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir the sauce into the spinach and parsnips and bring to a simmer. Serve hot.

Star Recommends: Brunori “La Gemme” Verdicchio
Pale yellow in color with a nose of straw and bits of citrus. It has high acidity with flavors of melon, green apple and a delicate saline finish. The high acid of the wine should provide an attractive contrast to this creamy dish.


Gluten-free Strawberry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting
Adapted from www.elanaspantry.com
These not-too-sweet cupcakes have a moist crumb and delicate strawberry flavor. They are a hit with everyone!

  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1 Tbs. arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 c. heavy cream

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 8 muffin cups with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the strawberries.
Pour 1/4 c. of cupcake batter into each liner, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Combine the heavy cream and 2 Tbs. agave in a large bowl. Whip with a hand blender until stiff peaks form.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 1 hour in the pan before frosting them.

Star Recommends: Riondo Pink
This sparkling rose is refreshing and light on the bubbles. Refreshing with flavors of strawberries and cranberries offering a delicate sweetness and just acidic enough to stand up to the creaminess of the cupcakes.