Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread
Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply In Season by Herald Press

1 Tbs. butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. water
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Directions: Combine first four ingredients in a shallow ovenproof baking dish. Arrange pears on top of syrup. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ground nutmeg, allspice and salt

In a separate bowl, cream together until fluffy:

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions: Add one egg and beat another minute. Set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup molasses or honey and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Alternately add this and the dry mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Spoon batter over pears in baking dish. Bake in preheated 350° F oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 3 minutes. Turn out onto serving platter. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream if desired.

Star Recommends: Jonesy, Tawny Port
A fine example of how yummy a Tawny Port can be for a dessert of this nature. The wine boasts a dark amber color, whiffs of brown sugar, caramel and dried fruits leap from the glass and follow through to the palate. This wine is mouth coating and rich with a long expansive finish. Serve in small serving glasses. 


Curried “Chicken” Salad
Recipe reprinted with permission from This Can’t Be Tofu! by Deborah Madison
 

1 pound soft or firm tofu, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. curry powder
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 Tbs. mango chutney

Directions: Cut the tofu into cubes or strips about 1/3-inch across. Bring 6 cups water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and turn off the heat. Lower the tofu into the water and let it sit for 2 minutes. Gently tip it into a colander and rinse under cool water. Shake off the excess moisture and turn to tofu out onto a clean kitchen towel to dry. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more curry powder or lime juice if needed to make it a little zesty. Add the tofu and mix gently with a rubber spatula. Chill 20 minutes or more to blend flavors. Serve as a sandwich filling or on lettuce leaves garnished with cashews or additional chutney.

Star Recommends: Elisea Silva, Chardonnay
A new Chardonnay offering at Star! Elisea Silva, a Mexican immigrant and one of the top growers of fruit in Washington State, is honored here with this wine. Soft and round with shades of oak and nicely balanced fruit will stand up well with this zesty curried salad. 


Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegetarian Express by Nava Atlas and Lillian Kaye

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper, finely diced
1 15-oz can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup thick tomato sauce or tomato puree
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. honey or brown rice syrup
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried basil
6 whole grain buns

Directions: Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the buns, and bring to a gentle simmer. With a potato masher, mash the beans until coarsely and evenly mashed. Simmer over medium-low heat loosely covered for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on whole grain buns.

Star Recommends: Alfredo Roca, Pinot Noir
Pile the buns high with this Sloppy Joe and pour yourself a great little Pinot Noir from South America. Soft and silky, this Pinot has a great mouth feel without being overpowering and compliments the rich tomato base of this recipe.


Cheesy Spinach
Recipe reprinted with permission from Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition’s From Asparagus to Zucchini
 

Mix together:

3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley)
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix separately:

1 large bunch spinach, chopped and steamed
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne

Directions: Spread the rice mixture in the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Spread the spinach mixture over the rice. Bake at 350° F until firm, 45-60 minutes.

Star Recommends: Brander, Sauvignon Blanc
A Star Liquor favorite when we choose a Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is light and delicate in flavor, with just a hint of citrus and fresh herbs that finishes clean and refreshing. A perfect choice for this cheesy dish. 


Italian Wedding Soup
Recipe adapted from Mom’s Best One-Dish Suppers by Andrea Chesman

12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
2 eggs
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orzo or other small soup pasta
1-1/2 pounds greens

Directions: Bring the broth to a boil in a large soup pot. Meanwhile, wash the greens well, stem and chop. Set aside. In a bowl, mix the turkey or chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. (If you prefer, these ingrdients can be combined in a food processor until well mixed.) Form the meat mixture into marble-sized balls and carefully add to the broth. Reduce heat and simmer the meatballs in the broth, 20 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Increase the heat to bring broth to a gentle boil and then add the pasta. Cook about 10 minutes. Add the chopped greens and cook 3 to 10 minutes more, depending on the type of green and desired level of doneness. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

Note: Use any type of green for this soup. Good choices include chard, spinach, escarole, kale and cabbage. A combination of greens can also be used.

Star Recommends: Bonci Verdicchio
From the scenic northeastern part of Italy we discovered this dry white wine that’s perfect for this traditional soup. Crisp and bone dry, with a slight mineral note. No oak aging allows this wine to remain focused and clean with almost no aftertaste on the finish. 


Zucchini Cheddar Breakfast Scones
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

2 cups shredded zucchini or yellow summer squash
1 tsp. salt
4 ounces bacon, preferably applewood smoked
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbs. cold butter or Earth Balance shortening, cubed
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions: Place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate and add salt, tossing well. Let zucchini drain about 30 minutes, then squeeze out excess moisture and transfer to a measuring cup; you should have about 1/2-cup packed zucchini. While zucchini is draining, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain thoroughly on paper towels and then chop finely and set aside. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and pepper. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add zucchini, bacon and cheese and combine well. Beat egg with buttermilk and pour into dry ingredients. Using a fork, mix very briefly just until all is moistened. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead very gently only 8-10 times, sprinkling with a bit more flour if necessary. Roll or pat into a circle or rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Using a floured knife or spatula, cut straight down into squares or wedges. Place on baking sheet, spacing about 1-inch apart for crusty edges. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

These are great served with fruit or eggs for breakfast or as an accompaniment to soup or salad.

Star Recommends: Cristalino Brut Sparkling & Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Nothing starts your Sunday off better than a Mimosa with your choice of fresh juice from the Willy Street Co-op mixed with this sparkling wine from Spain.