Roasted Beet Soup with Crème Fraiche
Adapted from www.bonappetit.com.
Beautiful color and fantastic taste, this one is a keeper!

  • 1/2 lb. red beets, well scrubbed with bottom roots and greens trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 fresh parsley sprig
  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. crème fraiche or sour cream

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender enough to be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut 1/4 of 1 beet into 1/4 inch cubes for garnish. Cut the remaining beets into 1/2 inch pieces. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the leek, onion and celery.  Cook until the veggies are beginning to brown, stirring frequently. This will likely take 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the ginger, allspice, white pepper and the 1/4-inch beet pieces. Cook over medium heat until the veggies begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, stirring frequently (5-10 minutes). At this point, add 2 c. water, the bay leaf, thyme and parsley sprigs. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer until the veggies are very tender, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Once tender, remove the bay leaf, thyme sprig, and the parsley sprig. Cool soup and than carefully puree, either using an immersion blender or putting batches of soup into a regular blender.  Add the cream as you puree, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with some love! Makes 2 first course servings or 4 appetizers.

Star Recommends: St Francis Claret
When pairing wine with beets one comes to realize that it is really not all that different from pairing wines with chocolate. It requires either a distinct contrast or a delightful compliment, anything else will likely be shoved aside by the flavor of the beets. In this case we have chosen to complement the earthy flavors of the beets with this yummy California Bordeaux blend. Enjoy!


Roasted Cauliflower with Brussels Sprouts and Jerusalem Artichokes
Adapted from www.foodnetwork.com.
This is a great and easy supper idea that melds 3 fall/winter favorites together into one great dish.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/2 lb. Jerusalem artichokes, cleaned well and cut into 1-inch dice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped chives

Directions: Preheat oven to 375º F. In a large bowl, mix all of the chopped veggies with the olive oil, making sure each one is well coated. Season generously with salt and pepper. On a cookie sheet, spread the veggies in a single layer. Make sure they do not overlap, using two trays if necessary. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Stir every 15 minutes or so, to ensure even cooking.
When finished cooking, transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chives and serve hot! Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Elisabetta Geppetti Morelino di Scansano
There is a reason that two of the three recipes containing Jerusalem artichokes are paired with wines from Tuscany. They just match so well. Morelino is sometimes referred to as “baby” Chianti. Well, let me assure you there is nothing baby about this wine.


Kiwi-Lime Ice Pops
Adapted from www.eatingwell.com.
A healthy and very pretty treat! Perfect after school snack or light
dessert.

  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and very thinly sliced

Directions: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Whisk over high heat until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Set aside and allow it to cool to room temperature. You have now made a tasty ginger-lime syrup. Strain the syrup into a bowl through a fine sieve. Whisk in the lime juice and combine well. Line 8 frozen treat molds (if you’re in a pinch, you can use small 2oz paper cups or even an ice cube tray for teeny tiny treats) with the slices of kiwi. Ideally they will touch, but not overlap. Fill each mold with your lime-syrup mixture. Freeze until they begin to set. For a frozen treat mold that may be about an hour. For an ice cub tray, probably closer to 20-30 min. Insert a stick (or toothpick) and then freeze until completely frozen. When you’re ready to remove your treat, run the mold briefly under hot water to ease the separation. Enjoy! Makes 8 pops.

Star Recommends: La Serra Moscato d’ Asti
Moscato is all the rage these days. The northern Italians still do it far and away the best. With flavors of candied melon it will add just another layer of awesomeness to these frozen treats.


Breast of Chicken with Kiwi Fruit
Adapted from www.justfruitrecipes.com.
Slightly sweet with citrus notes.

  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 4 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions: In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to boil. Add your chicken breasts and gently simmer them for about 10 minutes, skimming any residue that appears on the water’s surface. While the chicken simmers, arrange one kiwi worth of slices on a plate in a fan shape. Wash the orange in hot water, then dry and peel one half of it. Finely shred that peeled half and sprinkle it over the kiwi on each plate. Juice the remaining half into a glass, along with the lemon. After 10 minutes has passed, add the chopped celery and leek and simmer for 10 more minutes. This technique will make for a very juicy chicken breast. Melt the Tbs. of butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once it has melted, add the 1 Tbs. of sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until it is caramelized. Gradually whisk in the orange/lemon juices. Boil your caramelized citrus sauce until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs. Pull chicken from the water and place on kiwi. Season with cayenne and salt/pepper, and then drizzle sauce over each piece. Serve and enjoy. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Poppy Pinot Noir
Red wine with chicken?!? Yes boys and girls it can be done. In fact it can be done very well. This pinot has wonderful strawberry notes throughout that will complement the fruit in this dish. It is smooth and mellow and will not overwhelm the chicken.


Sunchoke Pecan Sandwich
Adapted from www.vegparadise.com.
Jerusalem Artichokes are also sometimes called sunchokes. Serve this sandwich with a bit of salad and some fruit for a lovely light meal.

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1/4-1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 c. coarsely shredded sunchokes
  • 1/2 c. raw or toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 6-8 slices of whole grain bread
  • 12-16 basil leaves
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 3-4 lettuce leaves

Directions: Avocado Sauce: Scoop out the avocado flesh and place it in a blender. Add the lemon juice, salt and cayenne and blend briefly. While the machine is running slowly, drizzle in the olive oil, using just enough to make a thick and creamy sauce. Sunchoke Filling: Combine the shredded sunchokes, the pecans and red bell pepper in a bowl. Add just enough avocado sauce to moisten and hold the mixture together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin coating of avocado sauce over each slice of bread. Spread a generous amount of sunchoke filling over one slice of bread, then top with enough basil leaves to cover. Add the lettuce, tomato slices and the final piece of bread. Enjoy! Makes 3-4 sandwiches.

Star Recommends: Clos Mont Olivet Cotes du Rhone
This wine is lush and rich. It will marry perfectly with the bright flavors in this sandwich. Imagine sitting on the banks of the Rhone River peacefully chomping away on your lunch and sipping a glass of this stunner.


Kiwi Salsa
Adapted from www.simplyrecipes.com.

  • 3-4 ripe kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh or pickled jalapeno chili peppers (no seeds!)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to your liking

Directions: Take your chopped kiwi, avocado, onion and your pomegranate seeds and place them in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over them. Gradually add in your chopped pepper, stirring gently. Taste as you go, until you’ve reached your desired level of spice. Fold in the cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Make 1 1/2 cups.

Star Recommends: Arca Nova Vihno Verde
Everybody loves vihno verde! This young Portuguese wine is crisp and easy drinking. It will complement the flavors in this or any salsa very well. Light-bodied, dry, lemon, green apple, and peach.


Raw Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from renegadehealth.com.
An amazing raw pudding that can add a healthy twist to a romantic
dessert.

  • 2 Tbs. coconut cream
  • 2 Tbs. cacao powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1 c. coconut water (or filtered water)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch vanilla

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender.  Blend over high speed until creamy and smooth. Eat over mixed berries, pineapple or banana. Makes 2-3 servings. Makes 2-3 servings.

Star Recommends: Mas de Gourgonnier Reserve
Many are familiar with the everyday version of this organic stunner from Provence. Have you ever had the reserve version? Oh baby. Upon first smell you would think you were drinking a first growth Bordeaux from Pommeral. It has plenty of backbone to match with a rich chocolate dessert.


Simple Pan Fried Jerusalem Artichokes
Adapted from www.allrecipes.com.
Simple simple simple. Tasty tasty tasty.

  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. chopped parsley

Directions: Scrub your Jerusalem artichokes well, like you would a potato. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices, using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the sliced artichokes, garlic, salt pepper and parsley. Stir well, so everything is covered in oil. Fry artichokes, stirring often, for about 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Be careful to not overcook them—they should be slightly crunchy.  Serve as they are, or with sour cream. Makes 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Tolaini al Passo
From the Chianti Classico region in Tuscany this blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is screaming out to be paired with Jerusalem artichokes. It has fabulous spicy notes that balance it with the cherries and berries we often get from this region. Mama mia!  

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