DRINK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STAR LIQUOR, 1209 WILLIAMSON
Green Barley and Kale Gratin
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
2/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch kale (about 1-1/4 pounds), stemmed and washed
2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 cups milk or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or provolone cheese
Directions: In a saucepan, add the barley and 1/2 tsp. salt to 1-quart boiling water. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. While the barley is cooking, cook the kale in a skillet of boiling salted water until tender, 6-10 minutes. Drain kale reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Puree kale with reserved liquid until smooth.
Preheat oven to 375°. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the flour, and then add the milk. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until thick. Season with the allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine with barley, pureed kale and cheese; check the seasonings and then transfer mixture to a lightly buttered baking dish or individual ramekins. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes. If using ramekins, run a knife around the edge of each and then unmold onto serving plate and serve browned side up.
Star Recommends: Vina Cremaschi Pinot Noir
A complex and very attractive wine, it shows delicate aromas of flowers, red fruits, and ripe raspberries. Somewhat smoky, it’s refined and elegant, complex, and delicious on the palate.
Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup millet, rinsed
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
Pinch saffron threads
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15 oz can, rinsed
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 tsp. sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black
2 1/2 cups boiling water or a mixture of water and tomato juice
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
3 Tbs. grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese (optional)
Directions: Heat 1 1/2 Tbs. oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet, add the millet and cook over medium heat until the grains begin to color, 4 or 5 minutes. Scrape the millet into a bowl, return the pan to the heat and add the remaining Tbs. of oil along with the onion, basil and saffron. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the millet, chickpeas, tomatoes and paprika. Season with one-tsp. salt and add the boiling water. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and millet is done, about 35 minutes. If it’s still a little raw, add 1/4 cup water and continue cooking. Gently break up grains with a fork. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and then stir in parsley and cheese if using.
Star Recommends: Rosenblum Vitners Cuvee XXX
Lovely black cherry and dark raspberry fruit with rich blackberry and spice overtones are the main focus of this fruit-forward wine. It is a very friendly, drinkable, zesty style Zinfandel at a very affordable price.
Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup buckwheat groats (kasha), preferably roasted
1 1/3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dry red wine or sherry
1 to 2 Tbs. tamari, to taste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. dried dill
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onions and celery and sauté until onions have softened. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Add kasha to the skillet and stir to coat with the oil and vegetables. Pour in the water or broth and stir in the carrots. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about five minutes. Stir in mushrooms, wine or sherry, tamari and dill. Return to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer about ten minutes; the liquid should be absorbed and the kasha and vegetables tender. Add pepper to taste and serve.
Star Recommends: Yard Dog Red
This deep purple ruby pour is nearly opaque in the glass and has a dark complexity about the nose. Richer and smoother than you might expect, there’s plenty of cherry fruit and sweet spice notes with some wood showing through.
Golden Carrot Bake
Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply In Season
3 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup raw brown rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Directions: Combine carrots, water, rice, salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Do not drain. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the milk, eggs, onion and nutmeg and transfer to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350° for one hour. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top of casserole. Return to oven long enough to melt cheese, about 2 minutes.
Star Recommends: Brancott Sauvignon Blanc
This wine displays real fruit intensity. The gooseberry flavors meld well with fresh bell pepper with underlying nectarine and ripe tropical fruit flavors. A well-balanced wine showing the lively, crisp acidity associated with this style.
Savory Barley Muffins with Thyme and Parmesan
Recipe adapted from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup barley flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. honey
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or use paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well. In a separate bowl, beat eggs lightly and then add buttermilk, olive oil and honey, mixing well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until all is moistened. Fold in the cheese. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3-full. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and cool on a rack. Serve with soup, stew or for brunch.
Star Recommends: Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc
This wine exhibits aromas and flavors of passionfruit, melon, citrus, and hints of jasmine. The palate offers succulent sweet fruit that leads to a crisp, citrus clean and long finish.
Black Bean Burgers
Recipe adapted from Meatless Burgers by Louise Hagler
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (or 1-15oz can)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup corn meal
2-4 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Directions: Heat oil in a medium skillet; add onion and cook until softened. Stir in green pepper and cook a few minutes more. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and cook another minute before removing from heat. In a large bowl coarsely mash about half the beans; mix in remaining beans, rice, oats and corn meal. Stir in vegetable mixture, egg and cilantro and mix well. Preheat oven to 350° and oil a baking sheet. Form bean mixture into patties and place on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, turning carefully after the first 15 minutes. Note: If mixture does not hold together well, add a bit more corn meal or chill for 30-60 minutes.
Star Recommends: Note: Tilia Malbec/Syrah
The nose is full of rich black fruit aromas with light earth notes and a touch of roasted coffee. The mouthfeel is full and sweet, with juicy black cherry fruit flavors, a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging.
New World Quinoa Salad
Recipe adapted from 366 Ways to Cook Rice, Beans and Grains by Andrea Chesman
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
1 cup diced jicama
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Drain well. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the quinoa. Toast, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, about five minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 12 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl to cool, stirring often to release steam. When cool add the beans and vegetables and toss to mix. Sprinkle with the olive oil, limejuice and vinegar and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Star Recommends: Hugel Gentil
This is a lovely wine and an exceptional bargain. It has a citrusy floral bouquet that fills the nostrils fast. On the tongue it starts almost lemon tart but quickly rounds out and fills the mouth with a complex mix of deeper flavors.