Rhubarb Crunch
From Equinox Community Farm at equinoxcommunityfarm.com

  • 1 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 c. diced rhubarb
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. corn starch
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Stir together first five ingredients until crumbly. Press 1/2 into 9” layer cake pan. Cover with diced rhubarb.
Stir sugar and cornstarch together in small saucepan. Add water and vanilla. Cook and stir until bubbly. Pour over rhubarb. Top with remaining half of crumbs.

Star Recommends: Leese Fitch Zinfandel
Blended with 16% Syrah, this to me is the best-of-both-worlds: jammy, juicy black and blue fruits yet finishing dry and balanced. Loaded with spice box, chocolate, vanilla, Moon Pie, cinnamon rolls, and even a hint of tamarind.


Radish Curry
Adapted from giniann.wordpress.com.

  • 1 bunch of red radish—contains 6 to 8 radishes.
  • 1 small sliced onion
  • 2 or 3 small crushed garlic cloves
  • 8 small, crushed green chilis
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • Oil for saute
  • 1 pinch mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Directions: The leaves: Roll all the leaves together and slice into long shreds. Clean the radishes and slice like an apple. Add about 1 Tbs. of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Continue to cook until the seeds sputter. At that point, add the curry leaves and onions. Saute the onion/mustard/curry leaves until the edges of the onion turn slightly brown. Add the crushed garlic and chilis, as well as turmeric powder. Continue to cook for a minute or even less. Add sliced radishes, mix well and salt thoroughly. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the radish is soft. Once the radishes are soft, remove the lid and crank up the heat. Saute on high heat for a few minutes longer. Serve immediately!

Star Recommends: Finca el Origen Torrontes
Another aromatic Torrontes from Argentina. The chilis in this dish will match nicely with the peaches and nectarines that dominate the palate of this wine.


Radish Top Soup
Adapted from a recipe by Jean Pinard on www.mariquita.com.
“Don’t throw out your radish greens. Believe it or not, those fuzzy leaves can be transformed into a smooth green soup, with a hint of watercress flavor.”

  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 1 c. chopped onions or leeks
  • 8 c. loosely packed radish leaves
  • 2 c. diced peeled potatoes
  • 6 c. liquid (water, chicken stock)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 c. cream (optional)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions: Melt 4 Tbs. butter in pan. Add onions or leeks, and cook until golden (approx 5 minutes). Stir in the radish tops and cover. Cook over low heat until wilted (about 8-10 minutes). In a separate pan, cook the diced potatoes until soft in the 6 c. liquid, along with 1 tsp of salt. Once soft, add radish tops. Cover the pan, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until flavors are mingled. Puree soup finely in a food processor or blender. Add cream, if desired. Season with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Star Recommends: King’s Ridge Pinot Gris
The Kings Ridge 2009 Oregon Pinot Gris has grapefruit rind, green apple and ripe pear in the aromatics. The mouth is vibrant and light, with juicy citrus and pear fruit framed by good acidity in its long finish.


Ramp, Bacon & Ricotta Tart
Adapted from eggsonsunday.wordpress.com.
For the tart crust:

  • 1 Willy Street Co-op crust (found in the freezer aisle), or your favorite recipe.

For the tart filling:

  • 4 slices of good quality bacon
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 3 c. (packed) spinach
  • 1 1/2 c. ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 18 ramps, cleaned and bulb ends trimmed

Directions: Pre-bake your tart crust until lightly golden. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Retain enough of the bacon grease to heartily coat the bottom of your pan. Add shallot and cook until softened. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Put the spinach, shallot, ricotta cheese and egg into a food processor and pulse until the spinach is chopped and distributed throughout the mix. Pour into prepared crust. In the same pan used to cook shallots and wilt spinach, cook the ramps until just wilted (add a little water if necessary). Crumble bacon over the top of the tart, and artfully arrange ramps. Bake in an oven set to 375ºF, until the top is lightly golden and the tart is set (30-45 minutes).

Star Recommends: Monte Antico Toscana
This blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon shows us all the best of Tuscany. Bold flavors and bright acidity come together to make a wine that complements a wonderfully rich tart like this one. The flavors of plums and berries mix well with a bit of spice to make this wine a heck of a deal.


Arugula and Pear Salad
Adapted from www.seasonalchef.com.
Dressing:

  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 2 firm ripe red Bartlett pears
  • 5 c. butterhead lettuce (Bibb or Boston) washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 c. arugula, trimmed, washed and dried

Directions: Prepare your dressing by placing all of the ingredients into a mason jar or other tightly lidded container. Shake vigorously, until the ingredients are completely combined.
For the salad, begin by lightly toasting the walnuts in a hot skillet over the stove. You will know that they are ready when they give off a pleasing aroma. Slice the Bartlett pears into thin slices. Place pear slices into a large bowl and coat with 1 Tbs. dressing. Toss until each slice is completely coated. Add the lettuce, arugula and toss until all are coated with dressing, adding more if desired. Top with walnuts, serve and enjoy!

Star Recommends: Oratoire St. Martin Cotes du Rhone
There is something about toasted walnuts and pears in a salad that just reminds me of the country. Maybe it is the combo of the light sweetness of the pears and the deep richness of the toasted nuts but it is there. That may be why the rustic and lush Cotes du Rhone always seems to be the perfect complement. This is one of our favorites. Red fruits, raspberries, and a good spiciness make this an excellent example of wine from the Rhone valley.


Mushrooms and Beer with Kale
From Wisconsin Fun Next Exit: ericabanks.wordpress.com.

  • 3/4 lb. mushrooms (white button or crimini or a combination), cleaned and cut into halves
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour (whole wheat is fine)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of lager beer
  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned and ripped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 box spaetzle or package of egg pasta (such as pappardelle)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions are tender (about 4 minutes). Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are also tender and start to brown (about 5-7 more minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove the onions and mushrooms temporarily from the pan. Melt the butter in the pan drippings and add the flour, stirring to avoid lumps. Return the mushrooms and onions to the skillet and stir them around to coat them with the butter and flour. Now place this mixture into a covered casserole dish, crack open the bottle of beer (giving yourself a sip, if you like), and pour it over the mushrooms and onions. Season with salt and pepper, cover it, and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. With 15 minutes left remove the lid of the casserole dish and boil water for the spaetzle or pasta. When the water is boiling, steam the kale until tender (about 3-4 minutes). Place the kale aside and cook the pasta. To serve the dish, place a serving of pasta on the plate, top with a portion of the steamed kale and pour over a ladle of the mushrooms and beer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!

Star Recommends: Valdivieso Cabernet Franc
This wine is from the Single Vineyard collection from Valdivieso and it is a stunner. Cabernet Franc is one of those hidden gems that people often do not think about but get hooked on once they try it. Chilean vineyards especially seem to have a knack for making well-structured big and rich Cab Francs. This wine is no exception.

Also may I suggest New Glarus Two Women Lager for the beer in this dish. This is a new year-round beer from them and it is so named because women run both the New Glarus Brewery and Weyermann’s Malting.


Arugula Sauté
Adapted from www.fearlesskitchen.com.

  • 1/2 bunch arugula
  • 1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (rehydrated, if necessary)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 c. white wine
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled

Directions: Heat the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in skillet over medium heat. If you are using sun-dried tomatoes not packed in oil, add 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add your chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the 1/3 c. white wine. Saute lightly, until the tomatoes have softened. Add the arugula and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat and toss with feta cheese. Enjoy!
 

Star Recommends: Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Citrus simply explodes from this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Strong flavors tend to be the hallmark of wines from these islands way out there in the Pacific and it is precisely these strong flavors that will make it pair so well with the peppery arugula and the sun-dried tomatoes.