Mozzarella, Arugula and Marinated Tomatoes on Focaccia
(Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June 1996)

  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb. total), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 c. packed trimmed arugula, chopped coarse
  • 1 loaf focaccia, halved horizontally with a serrated knife
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin

Directions: In a large bowl combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Marinate mixture and cover, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes. Transfer onions and tomatoes to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add arugula to marinade. Toss with salt and pepper. Arrange arugula on one half of Focaccia bread, followed by tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, and other half of the focaccia. Press together gently and cut into 4 pieces.
 

Star Recommends: Santi Solane Valpolicella Ripasso
A method called ‘rigoverno,’ similar to ‘ripasso,’ is used whereby 20% of grapes at harvest are dried for two months then added to the still wine, prompting an additional fermentation. This imparts rich raisin and dried fruit flavors and a chewy mouthfeel without heaviness, as in the Valpolicella ‘Solane,’ showing fresh red berry, anise and herb aromas and clean, crisp black cherry flavors on the palate with linear acidity and soft tannins.

 


Sesame Honey Candy (Pasteli)
(From Jenny at thenourishedkitchen.com)

  • olive oil, for greasing the baking sheet (see sources)
  • 3 c. hulled sesame seeds
  • 1 c. honey
  • unrefined sea salt to taste

Directions: Generously grease a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high flame until it becomes hot to the touch. Pour three cups sesame seeds into the hot pan and stir them continuously with wooden spoon until they’re well-toasted and golden-brown in color—about four to six minutes. Stir honey and a generous dash of unrefined sea salt into the toasted sesame seeds until they become well-coated and the mixture stiffens. Pour the mixture of honey and sesame seeds onto your greased baking sheet and pat down and smooth out the mixture with a wooden spoon. Score the candy into pieces of 1/4-inch by 1-inch and set the pan aside until the candy is cool enough to handle comfortably. When cool to the touch, but still warm enough to be malleable, grease your fingers with olive oil and roll the pieces of honey candy into small round logs.
 

Star Recommends: Martini and Rossi Asti
Low in alcohol, low in acidity, fresh, fruity and highly aromatic. This sparkling wine is a great partner to fruity desserts, and pastry.


Buckwheat Tabouli

  • 1 c. organic buckwheat
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves, finely minced
  • 3/4 c. fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 2 medium organic tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, quartered
  • 1/2 c. green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 whole romaine lettuce leaves or any leaf lettuce

Directions: Cook buckwheat per package directions. When done, remove from the pan, place in a mixing bowl and fluff to cool. When cool, add all remaining ingredients and toss to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce leaves.

Star Recommends: Anselmi San Vincenzo Soave
The Garganega grape, from Italy’s veneto regions, forms the base of the best Soaves. It is also bottled on its own. It makes a richly fruited, soft, medium bodied white wine redolent of melon, green plum, and faint citrus fruits expressed in a distinctly fruity aroma.


Potato Zucchini and Green Onion Pancakes
(adapted from www.farmfreshtoyou.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small russet potato
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. each hot sauce, baking soda, black pepper and ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. veggie or corn oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/2 c. fat free milk
  • 1/4 c. low fat sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. chopped chives

Directions: Cook the potato until it is easily pierced with a fork—then cool completely before continuing on. When the potato has cooled, thoroughly shred it. Meanwhile, take the grated zucchini and press it on several layers of paper towel, covering with additional layers of paper towels. Place a heavy plate on top to help squeeze out excess liquid—let stand about 5 minutes. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, thyme, baking soda, ground nutmeg and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, oil, hot sauce and beaten eggs. Add the wet milk mixture to the dry ingeredients, and stir until smooth. Fold in the potato, zucchini, and onions. Get a skillet nice and hot. Spoon about 1/4 c. of the batter onto the sizzling surface. Turn the pancakes when the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked. Top with sour cream and chives, and enjoy!

Star Recommends: Domaine Petit Mas Costieres-de-Nimes
Nose with strawberry, pepper, cherry. Nice mouthfeel with good cherry flavors and spice. Very full bodied. This wine will nicely compliment the rustic flavors of these veggie pancakes.


Cauliflower Polonaise
(Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Shelia Lukins)

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 5 Tbs. fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 hard cooked egg
  • 2 Tbs. minced parsley
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 3 lb.) trimmed and cut into florets
  • salt, to taste
  • grated Monterey Jack or Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in small skillet and brown the breadcrumbs over medium heat (about 5 minutes). When finished, set aside. Press the hard-boiled egg through a sieve, or chop until very finely minced.  Combine the crumbs, egg and parsley in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Bring large pot of water to a boil and add then cauliflower. Simmer until just tender, 6-8 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet and lightly sauté the cauliflower until heated through (3-4 minutes). Season with salt and sprinkle with the reserved garnish. Toss to coat well. Serve immediately, with a big helping of cheese and pepper.

Star Recommends: Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc
A delicious and refreshing wine, very characteristic of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes with a touch of Semillon from old plantations that succeeded in adding the final touch of complexity and body, which gave birth to a fresh, complex and well-balanced Sauvignon Blanc.


Five Spice Tofu
(adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant)

If you want to use this tasty tofu in the near future, go with method #1. If you have more time to spare, try out method #2, which is more traditional and requires no baking!

  • 2 12 oz. cakes of firm tofu
  • 3 Tbs. tamari
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp. molasses

Method One:
Put all of the marinade ingredients (everything but the tofu) in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel baking dish that is about 9 inches square.
Cut each piece of tofu in half horizontally. Place the slices of tofu in the dish and pour the marinade on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, flipping the tofu over after about 30 minutes. Cool and drain before storing—this will keep in the refrigerator covered in plastic for about a week.
Method Two:
Cut each piece of tofu horizontally. In a pot wide enough to fit all four tofu pieces, combine all of the other ingredients. Bring the marinade to a boil, then add the tofu. Reduce the heat to just a simmer and leave uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tofu marinate for 3 hours or even overnight in the refrigerator, turning 2-3 times. Cool and drain before serving!

Star Recommends:  DuBeouf Julienas
Lively, fresh strawberry nose, consistent texture and fresh fruitiness on the palate. A pepper note on the nicely tapering finish of tart fruit. While the Gamay grape might be an acquired taste in the modern world of soft fruity wines with lots of oak, no region does more with Gamay.


Rhubarb Bread
(Adapted from Harmony Valley Farm)

  • 1 c. soured milk (add 1 Tbs. vinegar to 1 c. milk, wait 5 minutes)
  • 2/3 c. oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans. Mix milk, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix. Add rhubarb and mix. Pour into pans. Blend sugar and butter and sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake for 50 minutes or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Star Recommends: Foris Fly Over Red
Flavors and aromas of berry jam, earth, spice and rose. The aromas are distinctly Southern Oregon- cedar, dark fruits, earth and saddle leather. Lush purple Merlot fruit suggests itself first on the palate, followed closely by the depth and structure of dark, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and an infusion of blueberry and chocolate on the finish from the Cabernet Franc. A subtle smoky spiciness from a judicious use of a percentage of new French oak barrels.


Zucchini Bruschetta
Erika Azevedo, Transforme seu mundoCourtesy of Sustainable Table

  • As much garlic as you like
  • Olive oil to cook the garlic
  • 1 zucchini, sliced very thinly
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread (or any local homemade bread like that), sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Rosemary leaves

Directions: Cook the garlic in the olive oil, add the zucchini when the garlic gets some color, cook till it’s tender. Place it on top of the Italian bread slices. Spread the cheese then the rosemary on top of it and bake it in hot oven till the cheese has melted and the bread is toasting a bit.

Star Recommends: Bucci Verdicchio
No producer gives better service to Verdicchio, a grape getting more and more attention recently due to its great acidity and nutty character. Crisp Golden color in the glass. Really interesting nose, smoky notes, stones as well as fruit, lots of apple as well as almonds.


Tacos of Garlicky Greens
(Adapted from Harmony Valley Farm)

  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 1 lb. sauté mix (from Harmony Valley)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 med white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 c. Mexican queso fresco, crumbled feta, or Parmesan
  • 3/4 c. salsa

Directions: Heat oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent, then add greens and a Tbs. or so of water (to help greens steam). Serve greens and toppings with tortillas in a delightful taco buffet!

Star Recommends: Ponzi Pinot Gris
This complex nose shows aromas of honeysuckle, straw and clove. The full creamy textured mouth shows ripe pear and fresh fig followed by a beautiful, crisp, long finish. Recognized as one of Oregon’s most consistent white wine producers for nearly 25 years.