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Chimichurri Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp, Sweet Corn, and Seared Tomatoes
Adapted from www.dinnerwasdelicious.com.
Light zucchini noodles are tossed with a sauce that’s similar to pesto—made with lemon, parsley, and garlic, it is a bright, flavorful sauce that’s good on everything. For a taste of summer in the dark days of winter, keep the extra sauce this recipe makes in the freezer.

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 ear of fresh sweet corn, husked, kernels removed
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, slice in half
  • 8 oz. shrimp, shelled and deveined

Directions: Combine the parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, and 2/3 cup olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process until it forms a sauce, but is still full of texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Use a mandoline, julienne peeler, or (best!) a spiralizer to make long thin strips of the zucchini. Place in a large bowl and toss with enough of the chimichurri to coat. Set aside.

Place the corn kernels in a large bowl. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, in the skillet and sear until they begin to soften and turn golden. Add to the bowl of corn. In the same skillet, sear the shrimp over medium-high heat about 1 minute on each side, until pink and opaque. Season with salt and pepper and add to the bowl of tomatoes and corn. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan, and toss over medium heat until just warmed. Transfer the zucchini noodles to the bowl of tomatoes, corn, and shrimp, drizzle with another dollop of chimichurri, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, with more chimichurri at the table if you like. Serves 2.

Star Recommends: Foris Vineyards Dry Gewurztraminer—Delicate aromas of sweet peas and rose petals telegraph the floral qualities of the wine and lead into the peach and nectarine flavors that fan out across the palate with moderate intensity. Lingering flavors of honeydew melon complement the lush texture of this dry wine and punctuate the refreshing finish.


Pork and Green Chile Stew
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com.
This stew, laden with roasted peppers and tomatillos, becomes even more flavorful after one or two days, so it’s great if you’re able to make it in advance.

  • 1 lb. poblano peppers, or a mix of poblanos and anaheim chiles
  • 8 oz. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 lbs. pork shoulder, excess fat removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, large, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Warm tortillas, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions: Arrange a rack a few inches from the broiler. Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, 15-20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil to steam. Set aside.

Place the tomatillos on the baking sheet and broil them, flipping once, for 5-10 minutes, until they are charred. Chop and place in a bowl. Peel the skins from the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Chop them and add them to the bowl of tomatillos.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over high heat. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, cook the pork for 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned all over. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute, then increase the heat to high and add the apple cider vinegar. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and add the reserved peppers and tomatillos. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pork is tender, 2 -2 1/2 hours. Add the diced potatoes, and cook an additional 30-40 minutes, until they are tender. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Serve with warm tortillas, garnished with cilantro. Serves 8.

Star Recommends: Broadside Proprietary Red—Broadside’s wines are for drinkers, not collectors, according to the pair of winemakers behind the project, Chris Brockway (Broc Cellars) and Brian Terrizzi (Giornata). This is a propietary red blend, composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Margarita Vineyard. In a style that is less ripe and more Cab-driven, this wine shows excellent balance, with just a touch of meaty spice from the Syrah.


Grilled Pancetta and Cantaloupe Pizza
Adapted from www.garlicandzest.com.
Cantaloupe and pancetta or prosciutto are a classic pairing. Break out your grill for this inventive way to enjoy it.

  • 3 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 package pizza dough, available in the Deli, cut into 4 equal portions, at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, seeded, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 oz. baby arugula

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat grill to high.

Dust a work surface with flour. Roll each portion of pizza dough into a ball. Use a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour to roll out the dough into a circle 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thick. Set on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. If the pizza dough is too elastic and won’t roll out, cover with a clean towel and let rest for at least 10 minutes, then try again.

Brush each round of dough with olive oil. Arrange a quarter of the pancetta on each one, then top with a quarter of the cantaloupe, mozzarella, red onion, and finally the Parmesan cheese. Carefully transfer the pizzas to the grill. Depending on the size of your grill, you may need to do this in two batches. Cover, and cook 6-7 minutes.

Place the arugula in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to coat. Serve the pizzas with a pile of arugula on each one. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Poggio Ania Lilith Primitivo—Sibling Rivalry. Didn’t know this could exist with wine? When the DNA is a near exact match to its American counterpart, Zinfandel, that is what you have. This is a rich, full–throttle take on Primitivo.


Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from www.sundaymorningbananapancakes.com.
This is such a fast meal to get on the table. Chop the vegetables while the quinoa is cooking, stuff the peppers, then put your feet up while everything’s in the oven.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, kernels removed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 4 medium green peppers, halved, seeded
  • 8 slices vegan cheese, optional (Daiya Jalapeño Havarti is amazing here)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa, give it a stir, cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the cherry tomatoes, olives, corn, cumin, and salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Fold in the quinoa and salsa.

Arrange the green peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Fill each pepper with the quinoa and vegetable mixture. If using, top with the slices of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Chehalem Vineyards Pinot Gris—The wine is perfectly balanced between rich and refreshing, bright and subtle, and slightly sweet and slightly tart. The nose shows characteristic fleshy white peach, fruit cocktail, sweet Rainier cherries, and a sprinkling of delicate pollen.  The mouth is where the follow-through completes, skating lines of balance from a touch of residual sugar and lemon-zest acidity.


Sweet Corn and Cherry Pancakes
Adapted from www.dessertsforbreakfast.com.
Corn and cherries reach their peak at about the same time in the summer, and these pancakes highlight them both.

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Kernels from 2 small ears of corn
  • Sunflower or canola oil
  • 3/4 lb. sweet cherries, pitted and halved (measure before pitting)
  • Sour cream or creme fraiche

Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and stir until smooth. The batter should be thick, but if it’s too thick to stir easily, thin with a little buttermilk. Fold the corn kernels into the batter.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Spoon some batter into the hot pan, then top each pancake with a handful of cherry halves. When bubbles form, flip the pancakes, and cook the other side until lightly golden. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. Makes 15-18 small pancakes.

Star Recommends: Sori Gramella  Moscato di Asti—Elvio Tintero makes a Moscato d’Asti that has great freshness and harmony, with an emphasis on freshness. Picture yourself eating a fresh peach. Picture frothy bubbles dancing on the palate. Now imagine joy. I think this vintage has better balance than previous ones.


Huevos Rancheros with Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from www.simplygloria.com.
This hearty egg dish is great served at any time of day.

  • 1 lb. tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup canola or sunflower oil
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed with hot water
  • 5 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled

Directions: Place the tomatillos in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Puree until completely blended. Set aside.
Add the oil to a small frying pan and heat over medium heat. One at a time, fry each corn tortilla in the pan for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a surface lined with paper towels to drain. Continue until all tortillas are done. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Crack the eggs into the pan and cover. Cook until set. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

To serve, set a tortilla on each plate. Top with tomatillo sauce, then a generous spoonful of the beans, an egg, then the crumbled cheese. Enjoy. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Mionetto Prosecco Organic D.O.C.—This delightful Prosecco is bright yellow in color. Its perfume of delicate elderflowers leads to an explosion of golden apples on the palate.


Tomatillo Bloody Marys
Adapted from www.saltandwind.com.
These are an excellent addition to a summertime brunch. Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is sold at the Co-op if you’re not a fan the anchovy-laden kind.

  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husked, trimmed, quartered
  • 1/2 pint yellow or red cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 serrano chile, halved and seeded
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • Vodka
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 6 tsp. prepared horseradish, divided
  • 4 1/2 tsp. green hot sauce, divided
  • 3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • Celery seeds
  • Ice
  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla chips, optional, for garnish
  • 6 green onions, optional, for garnish

Directions: In a blender, combine the tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, lime juice, serrano chile, and salt. Blend until very smooth, at least 30 seconds.
To make each cocktail, place 2 sprigs of cilantro into a cocktail shaker. Bruise lightly with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add 5 ounces of the Bloody Mary base, 2 ounces ofvodka, 1 teaspoon horseradish, 3/4 teaspoon of green hot sauce, and a pinch of celery seeds to the shaker. Add ice halfway up, and stir about 10 times to combine, until the shaker is cold. Pour the drink with the ice into a glass, and garnish with a lime wedge, cilantro, and tortilla chips and a green onion, if using.
Note: the Bloody Mary base can be made up to two days ahead of time—just store in the fridge in an airtight container, and give it a stir before using. Serves 6.

Star Recommends: Rokker Vodka—Coaked in darkness for months at a time, Reykjavik, Iceland is home to a spirit known as “Black Death Vodka.” Distinctive and smooth.


Honeydew-Mint Sorbet
No ice cream maker needed for this sorbet!

  • 1 small honeydew melon, rind and seeds discarded, flesh cubed
  • 1 cup mint leaves, chopped, plus 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, whole, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions: Place the cubed melon in a shallow container and freeze.
Place the 1 cup of chopped mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard on the solids, and refrigerate until chilled.

Place the frozen melon in the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining 1/4 cup of mint leaves, the cold mint syrup, and process until smooth. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Adami Prosecco—Recognizable for its dry finish, youthful nose and pleasing drinkability.


Fig and Melon Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from www.notwithoutsalt.com.
This salad is dressed with a dressing that’s light enough to enhance but not overpower the summertime produce.

  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave
  • 1 tsp. champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, small, peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, small, thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh figs, ripe, quartered
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, vinegar, and heavy cream. Add salt and lots of black pepper and stir to combine, tasting and adding more if needed.

Place the lettuce, cantaloupe, and red onion on a serving platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine. Top with the fresh figs and crumbled feta. Enjoy! 4 large servings.

Star Recommends: Adelsheim Pinot Gris—Crisp, bright flavors have always been the hallmark of Adelsheim Pinot Gris. In this 2014, you’ll find aromas of white peach, minerality, and pear blossom. It pulls off the difficult feat of providing a gentle creaminess that lends a rich, mouthfilling texture and long finish, yet still impressing as a wine that’s crisp and clean.

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