Broiled Mediterranean Vegetables with Mozzarella
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Fast Food (c) 1994 by Rose Elliot

  • 1 large eggplant, about 12 oz.
  • 12 oz. zucchini
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Crusty bread
Directions: Preheat a grill or the broiler; lightly oil the broiler pan or a perforated grill pan. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds; cut the rounds into 1-inch strips. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds. Using clean hands, toss the eggplant and zucchini with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste until evenly coated. Grill or broil the vegetables about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften and brown. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes longer. While the vegetables are cooking, roughly chop the cheese and then add to the vegetables. Continue to cook a few more minutes until the cheese is beginning to brown and soften. Scatter the basil over the top and serve with a good, crusty bread.

Star Recommends: Da Vinci Chianti
Aromas of ripe plums, cherries and fresh red fruit accented by peppery notes. Well balanced and medium weight wine with flavors of ripe plums, cherries and red fruit. Lively with a soft mineral finish and round tannins that linger in a long peppery finish. There are few things in this world as perfectly matched as broiled veggies and a nice rustic Chianti.

Great Green Vegetable Pasta
Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply in Season by Herald Press
  • 1 c. cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. milk (optional if using cottage cheese)
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. fusilli, linguini or spaghetti
  • 2 c. broccoli florets
  • 2 c. sliced zucchini
  • 1 c. green beans
  • 1 c. peas
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
  • Tomato slices for garnish

Directions: Stir together the cottage or ricotta cheese, milk, 1/3 c. Parmesan, garlic, basil, parsley and salt in a bowl and set aside. Or for a smooth texture, puree in blender. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and start cooking pasta according to package directions. Stir in broccoli 6 minutes before pasta is done; boil 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and green beans; boil 2 minutes. Stir in peas and green onions; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, drain well and return pasta and vegetable to pot. Toss butter with pasta mixture until melted. Add cottage cheese mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste and garnished with tomato slices.

Star Recommends: Marietta Petit Sirah

Mouthy, full-bodied, and gamey, it offers dense ripe black fruit, earth, and minerals on the nose as well as hints of tar, cocoa, and subtle toasty oak. Broad mouth filling flavors of ripe blackberries and blueberries abound on the palate followed by a rich yet clean, lingering finish.

Breakfast Casserole
Recipe adapted from

  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 vegetarian breakfast “sausage” patties or 5 ounces seasoned pork sausage
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped onion
  • 2 c. shredded potatoes, drained and pressed (about 2 large potato)
  • 4 tsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 lb. mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. small curd cottage cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking dish or pie pan. In the prepared baking dish, stir together the shredded potatoes, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture on to the bottom and sides of the baking dish. Bake potato crust in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. While crust is baking heat the oil in a heavy skillet; place breakfast patties and onion in skillet. Cook over medium heat until onion is limp. Drain if needed, crumble the patties, and set mixture aside. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the cheeses. Stir in the sausage-onion mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the potato mixture. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the casserole comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Star Recommends: Saracco Moscato d’ Asti

Moscato d’Asti is often thought of as a sweet wine and although it is sweet, the delicate balance the slight carbonation gives and natural acidity actually make the wine better balanced than you might think. The lower alcohol content makes this a great brunch wine. The candied melon fruitiness is a great compliment to a hearty mix of eggs, potatoes and cheese. Yummm.

Peruvian Potatoes with Chilies and Cheese
Recipe reprinted with permission from Asparagus to Zucchini by MACSAC
  • 2 lbs. red potatoes
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 minced jalapeños
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 c. milk
  • 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Boil potatoes in salted water until nearly tender. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low flame. Add onions; cook 5 minutes. Add jalapeños and garlic; cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain potatoes; cut into cubes. Add potatoes and milk to onions. Simmer until potatoes absorb some of the liquid. Stir in feta and eggs; heat briefly. Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper.

Star Recommends: Helmut Hexamer 2007 Quartzit Riesling

Racy and crisp. Green apple and lime aromas give way to similar flavors. There are wonderful notes of spring flowers and leafy greens. Green apple flavors linger on the finish. This Riesling will compliment the peppers and other veggies in this dish very nicely.

Stuffed Summer Vegetables
Recipe by Caroline Cummins, from the Culinate Kitchen collection. Reprinted with permission from
  • 8 small zucchini or eggplants, medium round summer squash, or large bell peppers (a mixture of vegetables is fine, but don’t use just bell peppers)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. plus 1/4 c. breadcrumbs, preferably homemade and not too finely ground
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 lb. ground pork or loose pork sausage (you can also substitute ground chicken or turkey)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and diced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim the tops off the vegetables. Halve the long vegetables lengthwise and the round vegetables horizontally (for round summer squash, just remove the tops). Discard seeds. Scoop out the remaining flesh (except for bell peppers), leaving shells about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. Chop the flesh, put it into a large bowl, and set it aside. Drizzle 1 tbs. of the olive oil in a large baking dish and arrange the halves evenly in the dish. Briefly soak the 1 cup breadcrumbs in the milk, then add the crumbs to the bowl of vegetable flesh. Add the crumbled meat, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste; mix everything together evenly with your hands. Add the tomatoes and herbs and mix loosely. Fill the vegetable shells with the stuffing and sprinkle each with the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbs. olive oil. Bake for 1 hour, or until the shells have softened (but not crumpled) and the crumbs on top have browned. Serve hot.

Star Recommends: Cline Cashmere
This is an utterly charming wine, without pretense, blended from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. The nose and flavor profile are forthrightly coffee, tobacco, mint, and other exotic nuances of the usual dark fruit descriptors. As it should be, the balance is slightly on the sweet and soft side for tannin and acidity, and the 15% alcohol is happily heat free.

Rice & Corn Cakes
Recipe adapted from
  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, from 3 slices bread
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 c. favorite salsa
Directions: Bring 2-cups of water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 1-qt. saucepan. Add rice, scallions, garlic and thyme; return to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 40 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a large bowl; stir in the rice mixture and mash until with a fork or a potato masher until the mixture is well blended and holding together. Form the mixture into eight patties. Heat half the oil in a skillet, preferably cast-iron. When hot, place 4 rice patties into the skillet and cook until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn carefully and cook the second side. Remove from the pan and keep warm while cooking the rest of the patties in the remaining olive oil. Serve patties topped with salsa.

Star Recommends: Chateau Graville-Lacoste Graves

A rich, white Bordeaux from the Graves area of Bordeaux. The typical blend is 80% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Muscadelle from old vines. Fresh citrus and melon with wonderful complexity from a great vintage. There is a wonderful layer of mineral in white Bordeaux that should compliment these cakes very nicely.