Eggplant Caponata
Recipe by Christine Mulvey; reprinted with permission from From Asparagus to Zucchini by MACSAC

  • 1 1/2 lbs. eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2/3 c. olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 c. diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 lbs. plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 c. green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 Tbs. capers
  • 1 c. thinly sliced celery
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Directions: Heat oven to 500ºF. Toss eggplant cubes with 1/3-cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on large baking tray and roast 10 minutes. Continue roasting until eggplant browns, another 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet and saute onions 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives and capers. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes. Add eggplant and celery to pan and continue cooking, covered, for about 8 minutes. Remove cover, turn heat up to high and stir in vinegar and sugar. Cook until vinegar evaporates and all flavors meld, about 3 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at any temperature with pasta, bread, polenta, etc.

Star Recommends: Organic Wine Works “A Notre Terre”

A blend of mainly Syrah, with some Merlot and Zinfandel. Bottled without filtration or sulfites. A deep rich nose that on the palate is light and fruit filled. Cranberries and cherries predominate and lead to a very smoky finish. VEGAN.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply in Season by Herald Press

  • 4 green, yellow, red or orange bell peppers
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 c. corn
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked black beans or 1-15oz. can
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Cut 1/2-inch off the top of the peppers and discard seeds. Steam whole peppers in 1-inch boiling water until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Remove peppers from water and set aside. In a large frypan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, herbs and spices and cook 5 minutes. Add the corn and black beans and simmer 10 minutes. Place peppers in an oven-proof dish so that they stand upright, cut ends up. Stuff peppers with vegetable mixture. Any extra filling can be placed in the pan and baked next to the peppers. Sprinkle cheese on the top and bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Note: Mexican cotija cheese may be substituted for the Parmesan.

Star Recommends: Organic Wine Works Zinfandel

Wild berry aromas and brambleberry and cracked pepper flavors. It is well balanced with just the right acidity making a very food friendly wine. Just the wine you want for the bold flavors of stuffed peppers. VEGAN.

Green Curry with Vegetables
Recipe adapted from

  • 14 oz. coconut milk, regular or lite
  • 1 Tbs. green curry paste
  • 1 c. vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. chopped basil leaves
  • 3 c. assorted vegetables cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 oz. firm tofu, diced
  • Hot cooked rice, preferably jasmine

Directions: Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, broth or water, salt, brown sugar and basil in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Add the vegetables and tofu and simmer 5-10 minutes longer, or until vegetables reach desired tenderness. Serve over hot rice.
Note: Increase or decrease the quantity of curry paste to your personal preference. If you are not familiar with this condiment, you may want to start with a smaller amount. Use any combination of seasonal vegetables.

Star Recommends: Michel Torino Cuma Organic Torrontes

Peaches and stones is the way to describe Torrontes and this organic bottling from Michel Torino does not disappoint. The aroma is all fresh peaches, enough to make you think this is going to be a very sweet wine. Then, when it hits your palate, you are bombarded with tangerine and honeysuckle flavors that are balanced out by a good bit of acidity and minerality that leave a very clean finish. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Baked Penne with Broccoli and Three Cheeses
Recipe adapted from

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. penne pasta
  • 3 c. 1-inch broccoli florets
  • 3 c. marinara sauce, purchased or homemade
  • 1 c. coarsely shredded mozzarella cheese (packed)
  • 1/2 c. low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 4 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in small skillet over low heat; add garlic and cook, stirring for one minute. Do not allow garlic to brown. Set aside. Cook penne in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain. Mix marinara sauce, half of the mozzarella, ricotta cheese, basil, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and the sautéed garlic in large bowl. Add pasta and broccoli; toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Bake pasta uncovered until cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Notes: This dish can be assembled in advance. Prepare the recipe as written, but cool the garlic, pasta and broccoli before combining with the sauce and cheese. Assemble the dish, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and bake 45 minutes, covered with foil, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Star Recommends: Organic Wine Works Maverick Merlot

Full-bodied with a rich blackberry mouth. Aromas are reminiscent of plums, cherries, and herbs. A big enough wine to stand up to the bold flavors of this dish but not so big as to overwhelm its more subtle notes. VEGAN.

Lentils with Rice (Aeesh Al Dal)
Recipe adapted from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Sallou

  • 4 Tbs. butter or ghee
  • 1 c. basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 c. lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 3/4 c. simmering water
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbs. plain yogurt

Directions: Over medium heat, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepot. Add the rice and stir to coat well. Add the lentils, water and spices through the salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to a simmer and cook about 35 minutes. Check to be sure lentils are tender, then turn off heat and let steam, covered for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the sliced onions and cook slowly until they are soft and golden. This will take 20-30 minutes; be sure not to let them burn. Turn the lentil-rice mixture onto a serving platter and spread the onions evenly over the top. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over all. Pass the yogurt to drizzle over and stir in as desired.

Note: Use green or brown lentils for this dish. If brown basmati rice is used the cooking time may need to be extended a bit.

Star Recommends: Organic Wine Works Radical Red

Soft earthy fruit aromas and flavors. Pressed from whole grape skins, this dry, fruit forward wine can be quaffed with any meal. No sulfites added. VEGAN.