Roasted Cranberries and Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from www.kentuckyliving.com.
This will make converts of those who are still not sure about Brussels sprouts. So good!

  • 30 Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 c. fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 c. butter (unsalted)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 sage leaves, fresh, rolled and sliced into fine ribbons
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place the Brussels sprouts and cranberries in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt/ Toss gently and transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Spread in a single layer and roast until tender, about 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and sage, and sauté until lightly browned. Add the balsamic vinegar to the butter. Drizzle the brown butter-vinegar sauce over the Brussels sprouts and fold gently to coat. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with pepper to taste, and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Parducci Petit Sirah
Appealing aromas of violet, raspberry, cherry, spice, and caramel introduce bright, sweet accented flavors of the same with the caramel becoming burnt sugar and everything accented with fine tannin and moderate acidity. The long finish broadens at the back. Well balanced, structured, and integrated.


Kale and Persimmon Salad
Adapted from www.theyearinfood.com.
Crisp, apple-like Fuyu persimmons and kale are a surprising pair that make a delicious (and unusual) cold-weather salad.

  • 6 c. kale (lacinato), finely shredded
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/4 c. yogurt (plain, Greek)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon, large, sliced
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. blue cheese, crumbled

Directions: Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and squeeze half the lemon over it. With hands, mix up the kale and coat with lemon juice. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge to marinate. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and yogurt. Mix in the juice from the other half of lemon, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the kale, and fold until well coated. Top with persimmon slices, walnuts, and blue cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Alfredo Roca Pinot Noir
Deep crimson color, with black cherry fruit aromas, and light floral, vanilla notes. Ripe and full-bodied on the palate, with delicate plum character and a long, lingering finish.


Cranberry and Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl
Cook the wheat berries in advance and keep covered, in the fridge, and you have a warm, filling breakfast that takes just a bit of preparation. Any plump, whole grain can be substituted for wheat berries. Get creative and try farro, barley, or oat groats.

  • 1 c. yogurt (plain, Greek)
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 pears, firm, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch thin bite-sized slices
  • 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
  • 3 c. cooked wheat berries (to cook, see note below)
  • 1/2 c. pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 c. dried fruit, chopped (try dates, crystallized ginger, raisins)

Directions: Whisk together the yogurt and maple syrup and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter, then sauté the pears until they are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries to the pan and cook until just softened, about a minute. Gently fold the cooked wheat berries into the skillet and heat through.

Serve piping hot, topped with the maple yogurt and sprinkled with pecans and dried fruit.

Note: To cook wheat berries, combine 2 cups wheat berries with 6 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered until plump and chewy, about 1 hour. Drain. Makes 6 servings.

Star Recommends: Martini And Rossi Asti
100% Moscato d’ Asti. This wine is soft and sweet. A perfect way to start the day! Flavors of candied melon with just the right amount of bubbles. This wine is never cloying and will complement the flavors in this dish.


Mark Bittman’s Cranberry Relish with Orange and Ginger
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Thanksgiving.
You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t require any cooking. It’s quite tart, and very nice on turkey sandwiches. Try adding a handful of fresh mint or a sprinkle of cayenne.

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger, or more to taste

Directions: Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest of the orange. Remove and discard the white pith. Divide the orange into sections.

Combine the orange and orange zest, cranberries, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until blended but still chunky. Transfer to a serving dish and let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.

Keeps well, refrigerated, for a few days. Makes 4 cups.

Star Recommends: Triumph Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
This cabernet has depth, richness and purity of flavor. It is a fruit forward wine with layers of plum, cherry, and a touch of chocolate. The tannins are soft, giving the wine a mellow all around taste. Have it with that turkey sandwich.


Kale Pesto
Adapted from www.food52.com.
Serve this over pasta, dollop into soup, spread it on toast, or eat it by the spoonful. Use this any way you’d use the typical basil variety of pesto.  

  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated or microplaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice (if you’ve got a Meyer lemon on hand, use it)

Directions: Prepare a cold water bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and covering them with cold water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the kale in the boiling water, then drain in a colander and quickly transfer to the cold water bath. Drain again, and press out excess water.

Transfer the kale to the bowl of a food processor with the garlic and pine nuts. Pulse several times to combine and break down the kale. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice, and process until you have a coarse puree. Sprinkle in the cheese and pulse a few times. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more oil, lemon juice or garlic if you’d like. It’s ready to serve. This pesto freezes well: just cover its surface with a layer of olive oil before placing in the freezer. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Star Recommends: Tiamo Chianti
Organic. Intense ruby red with garnet tones. Fruity with persistent aromas of spices and licorice. Full with good acidity and balanced tannins. Another Chianti that will complement food very well.


Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche
Adapted from www.feedingthesaints.com.
The small amount of ouzo in this quiche is optional, but adds a sweet anise flavor that balances the sharp saltiness of the feta. If you’re cooking for one, it’s simple to adapt this recipe to make four individual-sized quiches instead of one large one, just freeze the extras for later.

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed according to package directions)
  • 1 lb. leeks (roots sliced off and rinsed well under running water to remove any silt)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp. ouzo (or pastis, raki or any other anise-flavored liqueur—optional)
  • 2 1/2 oz. feta, divided into 4 slices

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Prepare the leeks by cutting off the roots and dark green tops. Slice lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.  Rinse very well under cool running water to remove any silt and sand from between the layers. Spread them on a clean dishtowel to dry, or spin in a salad spinner.

Place the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and ouzo, if using.

Prepare the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a pie dish and press into the corners and up the sides of the dish. Trim the edge of the crust with a sharp knife.

Spread the sautéed leeks on the bottom of the dish. Pour in the milk and egg mixture. Top with the sliced feta.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the quiche is golden brown and the center is firm. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving. 4 generous servings.

Star Recommends: Rene Mure Pinot Blanc
This is a supple and fruity classical Alsatian wine, with butter and hazelnut aromas. This Pinot Blanc has a delicate, floral nose and excellent roundness.


Six-Onion Pizza
Adapted from www.saveur.com.
If you don’t have an extra four hours to make your own pizza dough as outlined in this recipe, just use the Willy Street Co-op’s freshly made pizza dough, available in the Deli.

  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/4–oz. package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 c. warm beer
  • 7 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 2 white onions, large, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4”-thick slices
  • 1/2 lb. shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 lb. red onions, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 lb. pecorino, finely grated
  • 5 scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Directions: In a large bowl, stir together the honey, yeast, and 1/4 c. of water, heated to 115˚. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in beer and 2 tablespoons of the oil until smooth. Add flour and 1 tsp. of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

In the meantime, make an onion purée. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil, the thyme, white onions, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and translucent, but not browned, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme stems and bay leaf. Place the onions in the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth. Set aside.

Make an onion compote. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in the skillet. Add the leeks and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until very soft, but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, and add the shallots and red onions with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook, until very soft and lightly browned, 18-20 minutes. Place in the dish with the leeks, and stir together. Set aside.

Uncover the dough and cut into quarters with a sharp knife. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Lightly rub them with flour, and place the dough balls in a floured 9”x13” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Preheat oven to 500˚F.

On a floured work surface, flatten one of the dough balls with your fingertips. Pick the circle of dough up and stretch the dough out, gently feeding the edges of dough between your thumbs and forefingers, letting the weight of the dough stretch out until 12” in diameter. If the dough becomes too elastic, it’s been handled too much: set it aside and cover it for at least 5 minutes, then try again. Place each dough circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and working quickly, spread about 2 Tbs. of onion puree over the dough, leaving a 3/4” border around the perimeter. Sprinkle with about 1/4 c. of onion compote, then 1/4 of the grated pecorino. Repeat to make all four pizzas. Bake in the oven until browned and crisp at the edges, about 12 minutes.
Serve each pizza sprinkled with scallions and chives. Enjoy while hot! Makes 4 12-inch pizzas.

Star Recommends: Il Fiorino Chianti
Il Fiorino, the basic DOCG Chianti, is ripe, fruit-driven, but with beautiful Chianti characteristics of cherries and stone fruit. A food wine if there ever was one.

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