DRINK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STAR LIQUOR, 1209 WILLIAMSON STREET, 255-8041
Fresh Mozzarella with Door County Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Arugula
Adapted from www.food52.com
Peaches from Door County and heirloom tomatoes grace our Produce department in the last months of summer. This loosely assembled salad combines the two, along with milky fresh mozzarella and tangy balsamic vinegar.
- 1 bunch arugula, rinsed
- 1/2 lb. ovaline mozzarella
- 2 large peaches, sliced
- 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- black pepper
Directions: Arrange the arugula on a serving platter in an even layer. Place the fresh mozzarella in the center of the plate, and layer the peach and tomato slices on the arugula, surrounding the mozzarella.
Sprinkle liberally with black pepper, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Enjoy!
Star Recommends: Silver Lake Riesling
Honey, apricot, and a hint of tropical fruit on the nose suggest good things to come, and they do. On the palate this wine is refreshing with some honey and caramel sweetness on the finish.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
Adapted from www.self.com
This light, cold soup makes a great meal on a hot summer night, and turning on the stove isn’t even required!
- 6 large heirloom tomatoes, any variety or color, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 medium red onion, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 3/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 red peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 Tbs. hot sauce
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the tomato, red onion, cucumber, and red and yellow peppers. Fold in the cilantro, then stir in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Add generous pinches of salt and pepper. Use your hands to gently smash the tomatoes, releasing their juice, to create a soup. Drizzle in the olive oil, a few Tbs. at a time, tasting as you go. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Star Recommends: Monte Hiniesta Tinto de Toro
Brooding black fruits, cigar box, Asian spices, and an earthy minerality inform the nose of this smooth, layered bruiser.
Spiced Pluot Crostata
Adapted from www.sunset.com
Pluots, a cross between plums and apricots, have an explosive flavor that only gets better when accented with warm spices. The crust is deceptively simple to make, and doesn’t require any special skills.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup butter, cold, cut into chunks
- 7 Tbs. ice water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 Tbs. cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 1/2 lbs. firm-ripe pluots, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch wide
Directions: Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two forks until pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice water over the mixture and gently combine. Repeat, adding 4-6 Tbs. more, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is moist and a small ball of it holds together. Turn onto a clean countertop, gather into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured countertop and roll into a 13-inch circle. Lightly coat the rolling pin with flour if you find that it’s sticking. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet, and pop in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Place the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice in a mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Add the pluots, and toss well. If the pluots are on the tart side, sprinkle an additional tablespoon or two to the mixture. Arrange the fruit mixture in the center of the crust, leaving a border of about 1 1/2-inches all the way around. Loosely fold crust over the edge of the fruit, and don’t worry if it looks messy. As long as the fruit is contained, it’s fine. Brush the crust with water. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crust is browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.
Star Recommends: La Garrigue Cotes du Rhone Cuvée Romaine
The Cuvée Romaine boasts a dense purple color along with a bouquet of kirsch liqueur, licorice, and lavender. Full-bodied with stunning depth and richness as well as a long finish.
Stone fruits are transformed when cooked. The fruit sugars are intensified, and they hardly need any additional sugar to make an indulgent, but still fairly healthful dessert. They’re delicious on their own, but try with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of crème fraîche on top.
- 1 lb. pluots, halved and pitted
- 2 Tbs. brown sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Arrange the pluots in a baking dish in a single layer. If they are crammed it’s fine. Dot with brown sugar and bake until tender and juicy, 20 to 30 minutes. Partway through the cooking time, turn the pluots over and spoon juices over them. If the pan looks dry, add 1-2 Tbs. of water to prevent scorching. Remove from oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
Star Recommends: Warre’s Late Bottled Vintage Port
This port is bottle-aged, which sets it apart from most LBVs and gives a velvety texture and good finesse. Good deep fruit. Definitely a mini-vintage port, and a give-away at this price.
Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Poblano Salsa
Adapted from www.sproutedkitchen.com
Grilling or broiling the vegetables in this salsa before it’s assembled makes it extra special. It will keep in the fridge for about a week, so double the recipe if you like!
- 1 1/4 lb. heirloom tomatoes, sliced into large wedges
- 1 small red onion, sliced into large wedges
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into large wedges
- 1 poblano pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 large lime
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, fresh
Directions: Heat your grill to medium, or preheat broiler. Place the tomato, onion, bell pepper, poblano, and garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet, reserving a wedge each of tomato, onion, and bell pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables on the baking sheet, and toss to coat with the salt. Grill over direct heat for 10-15 minutes, until charred on the edges. If you’re using a broiler, broil for 15-20 minutes in the upper third of oven.
Transfer the grilled/broiled vegetables to a large plate and set aside to cool. Discard the poblano stems. Remove the seeds as well, if you don’t like heat. Discard the garlic’s peel. Place the cooled vegetables in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Finely dice the tomato, onion, and bell pepper wedges that had been set aside. Transfer the roasted vegetables and diced vegetables into a large mixing bowl, and fold the ingredients together. Add the lime juice and cilantro, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!
Star Recommends: Ecker Gruner Veltliner
This is a lighter bodied Gruner Veltliner, with aromas of stone fruit, apricots, and wild botanicals. With a crisp acidity on the palate and a refreshing mineral-like finish, this juice is perfect for the crushing humidity, and a broad range of summer meals.
Adapted from www.susanspungen.com
This delicious, smoky guacamole is a bit lighter than a typical guacamole—some of the avocado is replaced with tomatillos, which add sweetness and tang.
- 1 poblano chile
- 4 medium tomatillos, husked
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 3 ripe avocados, diced
- tortilla chips, for serving
Directions: Preheat broiler and place poblano on a baking sheet. Broil as close to the heat source as possible, about 2 minutes on each side, until charred all over. Transfer to a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the skin from the poblano with a paper towel. Discard the stem and seeds. Cut into a 1/4-ich dice. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Broil the tomatillos on a baking sheet for 3 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden browned. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and purée. Combine the tomatillo purée with the diced poblano. Fold in the minced onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and half of the avocado. Mash everything together with a folk. Add the rest of the diced avocado and mash lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve right away with your favorite tortilla chips.
Star Recommends: Kellerei St. Magdalena Weissburgunder Pinot Bianco
Pale lemon-colored, the nose is a gentle blend of cooking apples and citrus fruits. The palate is medium bodied with a broad texture and notes of apple, pear, greengage and lime.
Farro Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Corn
Adapted from Marion Burros’ recipe in the New York Times.
This easy salad, loaded with heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn, and flavorful herbs, makes a filling meal on its own.
- 1 cup farro
- 2 ears cooked corn or 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into large cubes
- 4 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 tsp. white wine vinegar
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Directions: Place farro in a small bowl with water to cover. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature. When ready to cook, drain farro, and place in a small pan with water to cover. Bring to boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain well and set aside.
Scrape kernels from the ears of corn if using fresh, and place in a large serving bowl. Add the oregano, thyme, chives, slivered almonds, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix well. Fold in the farro, and toss to combine. This is best served at room temperature but can be chilled.
Star Recommends: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier
This unique marriage of two varietals that would never share the same bottle in their native France unites the crisp, honeyed fruit of Chenin Blanc with the plush body, light floral aromas and juicy stone fruit notes of Viognier, for a wine that is both sophisticated and easy to enjoy.