DRINK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STAR LIQUOR, 1209 WILLIAMSON
Courtesy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
“Plan to serve this lovely salad shortly after you make it, otherwise the pears and endive will brown.” -Deborah Madison
- 1 Tbs. crème fraîche
- 2 Tbs. sunflower oil
- 2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced lemon zest
- 2 tsp. chopped fennel greens
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
- 2 small fennel bulbs, 3-4 ounces each
- 1 Belgian endive
- 6 walnuts
- 2 pears, ripe but firm
- 2 c. watercress, frisée, or mixed baby salad greens
Directions: Whisk the crème fraîche, oil, and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice together, add the lemon zest, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
Trim the fennel bulbs, then slice paper-thin. Slice the Belgian endive diagonally into narrow strips. Toss it and the walnuts, broken into small pieces, with the fennel. Halve and core the pears, then slice lengthwise. Toss quickly with the fennel. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve mounded on a plate, over or surrounded by the greens. Makes 4 servings.
Star Recommends: Fess Parker Chardonnay
93 points from Wine Enthusiast: “Run, don’t walk to buy up cases of this beautiful, wellpriced Chardonnay. It’s rich and sumptuous in vanilla oak and lees-inspired flavors of pineapples, pears and lime tart.” From Wine Spectator: “Creamy fig, melon, vanilla and hints of butterscotch give this medium-bodied wine an appealing fruit-forward style.”
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
- 3 Tbs. butter or sunflower oil
- 1 large russet potato, peeled
- 1 medium zucchini (or 2 small), sliced
- 1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 c. ricotta
- 3/4 c. heavy cream or half and half
- 1 egg, plus 1 yolk
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish or tart pan with 2 Tbs. of the butter or sunflower oil. Grate the potato and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze out the excess water, then press the grated potato into the pie dish to form a thin crust. Bake until crisp and golden, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower the heat to 375˚F.
In a sauté pan, heat the remaining oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, then add the basil and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, cream, and egg. Season with salt and pepper, then add the zucchini. Pour this mixture into the prepared potato crust, and bake for 20-30 minutes until the tart is set, but still a little wobbly in the center. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. 6 generous servings.
Star Recommends: St Michael-Eppan Pinot Bianco
Offers up apricot and peach notes intermingled with light floral honey. This is a richer, rounder style, but nevertheless shows lovely depth and polish all the way through to the creamy finish, where almonds and smoke add the final layers of complexity.
Courtesy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- 4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange or all of one color)
- 4 Tbs. sunflower oil
- 2 9-oz. packages fresh fettucine (or 1 lb dried fettucine)
- 2/3 c. chopped parsley
- 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Directions: Start heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, cut the peppers into strips about as wide as the fettucine. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add the peppers; give a stir, let them sit for a few minutes, and stir again. Continue cooking in this fashion for about 10 minutes. The peppers should caramelize here and there along the edges, soften, and yield their juices but not lose their skins. They’ll smell very sweet. Season with salt and pepper, add a ladle of the pasta water, and reduce the heat to low. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the pasta until al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the peppers, allowing some of the water to drip into the pan. Raise the heat and toss the pasta and peppers with the parsley. Distribute the pasta among the plates, then go back to the pan for the peppers that have fallen aside. Top each plate with some of the grated Parmesan, and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Star Recommends: Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre
Brilliant ruby in aspect, with heady aromas of wild berries, vanilla and currants, leading to an elegant, well structured palate of berries, chocolate and ripe red berry fruit. Supported by good acidity and smooth, supple tannins.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
During the peak of Wisconsin’s growing season, all of the ingredients in this light and fresh salad are available locally (well, except the salt and pepper!)
- 1 lb. Roma tomatoes, diced, drained
- 1 1/2 c. diced, seeded watermelon
- 1 large green pepper, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
- 1/2 large cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
- 1/2 c. very thinly sliced radishes
- 3 Tbs. sunflower oil, divided
- 10 oz. feta cheese, cut into small cubes, about 2 1/2 cups, divided
- 2 green onions, chopped, divided
- 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh mint leaves, divided
- 1/2 c. plain Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, watermelon, green pepper, cucumber, radishes, and 2 Tbs. of the oil. Top with half of the cheese, half of the green onion, and half of the mint.
Place the remaining cheese, green onion, mint, and oil in the bowl of a food processor with the yogurt and oregano. Process until just combined, but don’t over-mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the salad. Fold the dressing into the salad, and serve. 5 servings.
Star Recommends: San Quirico Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Vividly defined lemon and licorice nose, turning into mineral and anise-like sensations on the palate, packaged in viscous, almost oily, densely textured body that is neither light nor heavy, but rather, zesty (like a fresh, mild grapefruit) yet smooth, long, penetrating.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 bunch scallions, including the firm greens, thinly sliced
- 3 c. kernels from 5 ears of corn
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (skip the peeling and seeding if you’re pressed for time)
- 5 oz. fresh mozzarella, finely diced
- 2 Tbs. finely sliced basil leaves
- 2/3 c. bread crumbs (preferably fresh – see note)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the peppers.
If the red peppers won’t stand upright, slice them lengthwise in half, leaving the stem end intact. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Steam them for 5 minutes and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the scallions, corn, and tomatoes and cook for a minute over medium heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, basil, and half of the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the peppers and top with the remaining bread crumbs. Set them in the prepared dish, add a few Tbs. water to the dish, cover, and bake until the corn is hot and the peppers are cooked, about 25 minutes. Uncover and brown the tops for a minute under the broiler. Dust with paprika and serve.
Note: Make your own bread crumbs with a loaf of day-old bread. Tear it into pieces, then, in batches, pulse in the food processor until coarsely chopped. The bread crumbs will keep for about a month if kept in a sealed container. 2 servings.
Star Recommends: Boomtown Merlot
Pomegranate and cranberry, with sweet oak giving a dusty, mocha finish. A very accessible Merlot with enough fruit to match well with the peppers and corn.