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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
Adapted from
This hearty salad is topped with crispy, spicy chickpeas and a delicious roasted garlic and tahini dressing.

  • 15 oz. chickpeas, rinsed, drained, thoroughly dried (pat dry with a clean cloth)
  • 4 ½ Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 3 Tbs. tandoori spice blend (see note on how to make your own)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled, excess papery skin removed
  • ¼ c. tahini
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 ½ Tbs. maple syrup
  • salt
  • pepper
  • hot water
  • 10 oz. kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or torn

Directions: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the dried-off chickpeas in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the tandoori spice and toss to coat. Transfer the chickpeas to a rimmed baking sheet. Place the garlic cloves on the baking sheet with the chickpeas and lightly drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake 20-25 minutes, until chickpeas are golden brown and lightly crisped and the garlic is lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into the bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Add hot water, a tablespoon at a time, to thin the dressing as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Top with last tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice and use your hands to massage the leaves to tenderize them. Add as much of the dressing as you’d like and toss well to combine. Top with the crispy chickpeas and serve.

Note: To make tandoori spice blend, combine 3 Tbs. cumin, 2 Tbs. garlic powder, 2 Tbs. paprika, 3 tsp. dried ginger, 2 tsp. ground coriander, and 2 tsp. cardamom. Makes 2 generous servings.

Star Recommends: Ecker Gruner Veltliner—Fresh green scents like the understory nettles and the dew soaked ferns, white pepper and spice, citric and nervy–among the most refreshing yet with a spearmint on the finish. This is pert and perfect.

Watermelon Lemonade
Adapted from
Pure summer in a glass. The recipe is easily doubled, too.

  • ½ c. lemon juice
  • 1 c. watermelon purée, strained to remove seeds
  • 6 Tbs. simple syrup (see note on how to make your own)
  • 1 ½ c. cold water (or sparkling water, for a fizzy version)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Note: For simple syrup, simmer one part water with one part sugar until the sugar has dissolved. That’s it! Makes 4 servings.

Watermelon, Tomato, and Almond Gazpacho
Adapted from Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking by Aran Goyaga
Watermelon gazpacho is unexpected, and perfect for pulling out of the fridge when you’re craving something cool and refreshing.

  • 2 c. diced watermelon, seedless, or seeds removed
  • 2 tomatoes, medium, very ripe, peeled (optional), and chopped
  • ¼ red onion, small, diced
  • 2 Tbs. almond meal
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 garlic clove, small, grated (optional)
  • 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled, for garnish

Directions: Place the watermelon, tomatoes, red onion, almond meal, red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and garlic, if using, in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender pitcher. Purée until smooth, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to two days). Stir and adjust seasoning if needed. Stir, then pour into bowls and serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and crumbled feta. Makes 4 large servings.

Star Recommends: Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc—The Guilhem Blanc has a beautiful, clear crystalline appearance in the glass with fresh, powerful and seductive nose of stone fruit, citrus, and floral aromas. Lively acidity and good minerality follow through on the finish to keep you coming back for more.

Golden Tomato Sauce
Adapted from
A perfectly light and fresh summer tomato sauce to serve over pasta.

  • 1 ½ lbs. yellow tomatoes,ripe, cored and halved
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: Run your finger inside each tomato to remove seeds; discard. Reserving any juice, chop tomatoes into ¼-inch chunks, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Heat over a medium-low flame, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the tomatoes and juices and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down. Remove from heat, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Makes 2 cups.

Star Recommends: Giacomo Grimaldi Dolcetto—A rich bouquet with enticing fruity aromas, pleasant acidity and Dolcetto’s signature slightly bitter aftertaste. For a wine that didn’t experience any wood aging it is surprisingly full-bodied with a velvety, dense texture and ample tannins to hold everything together nicely. 

Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Burritos with Pico de Gallo
The filling for these burritos will be sure to please everyone – creamy with black beans and nicely seasoned.

  • 1 ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. chili powder, plus up to ½ teaspoon more for more heat
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • salt
  • ½ c. water
  • 4 large tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 red onion, medium, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ lime, juice of
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 avocado, sliced
  • grated cheese
  • shredded lettuce

Directions: In a food processor with a splash of water, purée ½ of the black beans until a paste is formed. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the diced white onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Add three cloves of the minced garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, minced chipotle pepper, and a generous pinch of salt. Fold in the puréed black beans with ½ cup of water. Stir to combine. Raise the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil. Stir, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Taste and add more salt or chili powder as needed.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, minced red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir in a pinch of salt and the lime juice. Taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Assemble the burritos by scooping ¼ cup of the beef and black bean filling into each warmed tortilla. Top with remaining black beans, avocado, grated cheese, and/or lettuce, and serve with pico de gallo. Makes 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Leitz Out Riesling—This crisp, satin-textured Riesling shows the Rheingau’s classic salted peach and lemon, and subtly piquant finish. The 2009 vintage is made from declassified Grand Cru spätlese. Johannes Leitz’s Leitz Out is pungent with lemony fruit and delicious, but is drier in character than his other wines.

Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves
Adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food II
Thank goodness, you don’t actually need to peel the 40 cloves of garlic here. This easy chicken dish is moist and infused with flavor.

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, excess papery skin removed, from 3-4 heads
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 thick slices bread

Directions: In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange the chicken pieces in the skillet (in batches if necessary) and cook one side for 10-12 minutes, until deeply brown. Flip and brown the second side for 4-6 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place the cloves of garlic in a lidded baking dish large enough to hold the chicken. Add the thyme and bay leaf, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange the browned chicken on top of the garlic cloves and herbs. Cover with aluminum foil, then place the lid on top. Cook in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes. Remove the lid and aluminum foil, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes. Serve the chicken with the roasted garlic cloves and toasted bread. Squeeze the garlic onto the bread. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: E Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc—Freshness marked by the distinctive aromas of Viognier; white flowers, apricot, acacia and white peach. A well-rounded wine with elegance, strength and balance.

Salted Watermelon Sorbet
Adapted from Salty Sweets: Delectable Desserts and Temping Treats with a Sublime Kiss of Salt by Christie Matheson.

  • 1 c. water
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 5 c. watermelon cubes, seeds (and rind) discarded
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. vodka

Directions: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Set aside and allow to cool.

Working in batches, purée the watermelon, lime juice, sea salt, and vodka in a blender until very smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Chill for at least one hour, then churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the churned sorbet into a sealed container and freeze an hour before serving. Makes 1 quart.

Star Recommends: Martini and Rossi Asti—It is light bodied, fragrant and refreshing and is bubbling with a youthful character. It’s perfect on its own, or as the key ingredient to bring its unique sparkle to any cocktail.

Pork Burgers with Basil Garlic Mayo
Adapted from
This basil garlic mayonnaise would be great slathered on all your sandwiches and burgers this summer.

  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • ½ c. sliced fresh basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 large lettuce leaves or buns
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced

Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, ½ cup sliced basil leaves, salt, and black pepper. Form into 8 even burger patties. Grill or pan fry over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F, and burgers are no longer pink in the middle, but are not dried out.

In a small bowl, stir together themayonnaise, 1/3 cup minced basil, and minced garlic.

Serve the burgers hot, on a lettuce leaf or a bun, topped with the basil mayonnaise and sliced tomato. Enjoy! Makes 8 servings.

Star Recommends: Marietta Christo—Dark Purple. Full-bodied yet surprisingly soft, this mouth filling wine offers plenty of thick, juicy black fruits and pepper with intense notes of blueberries, lavender, and dried flowers. 

Heirloom Tomato Cornbread
Adapted from
This cornbread, topped with sliced heirloom tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese, is decidedly out of the ordinary.

  • 1 c. corn meal
  • ½ c. flour
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. sour cream
  • 3/4 c. corn kernels
  • 6 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch rounds

Directions: Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment at slow speed, mix together the milk, sour cream, corn kernels, and butter until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until blended. Fold in ½ cup of the grated cheddar.

Transfer the batter into a well-greased cast iron skillet and spread it into an even layer. Top with ½ of the remaining grated cheddar. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top, then sprinkle with the last of the grated cheddar. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, and after 40 minutes cover the skillet with aluminum foil. When a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, remove from oven. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then serve. Makes 8 servings.

Star Recommends: Maggio Petite Sirah—With hints of fig, fine cocoa, and licorice, this wine has a rich color with dark berry flavors and a lingering finish.

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