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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Zucchini-Chickpea Fritters with Red Onion Jam
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
These hearty little fritters use chickpeas and chickpea flour as a binder instead of egg to great effect. The red onion jam is quick to make and so delicious, you won’t want to skip this extra step.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, large, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, medium, minced
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Pour in the water, and continue to cook until the water cooks off and the onion is very soft, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the vinegar has cooked off. Sprinkle with more salt to taste, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to form a thick paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the yellow onion and shredded zucchini. Use your hands to combine, then form the mixture into 10 patties.

On a large plate, stir together the chickpea flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Dredge each of the patties in the flour, gently coating all sides.

Add vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add 3 to 4 patties and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed. As the fritters cook, place them on a rimmed baking sheet.

When you’re done frying them, bake the fritters 10-15 minutes, until deep golden brown.

Enjoy hot, with the red onion jam. Makes 10 fritters.

Star Recommends: Castello di Bossi Rosato—Pale salmon in color, Castello di Bossi Rosato bears resemblance to the rosé wines of southern France. On the nose, however, it immediately asserts its Italian heritage with aromas of dusty earth and Mediterranean herbs laid over fresh cherries and tart cranberry. On the palate the wine shows a defined structure with bright acidity and brilliant depth of flavor. The finish is long and balanced.


Zucchini Stuffed with Lamb and Vegetables
Adapted from www.food52.com.
Zucchini is stuffed with za’atar-seasoned lamb and summer vegetables, then baked and served with creamy garlic yogurt.

  • 2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, plus 2 cloves, minced, divided
  • salt
  • 4 zucchini, plus more summer squash (zucchini, patty pan, or yellow crookneck squash)
  • 1 Tbs. sunflower oil, or other neutral frying oil
  • 1/2 lb. lamb skirt steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, minced
  • 2 Tbs. za’atar
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

Directions: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and crushed garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set in the refrigerator.

Slice the ends and stems from the 4 zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife and a spoon to carefully scrape out a 1- 1 1/2-inch wide hollow in the middle of each zucchini half. Season with salt, set in a baking dish, and set aside.

Dice up any large piecesof leftover zucchini, and chop up enough summer squash to equal 1 cup total. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan, and sprinkle with salt. Cook until all sides are seared, 1-2 minutes. Transfer cooked lamb with juices to a bowl and set aside. With the heat still on medium-high, add the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits. Add the olive oil, onions, remaining 2 cloves minced garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7-10 minutes, until the onions and peppers are tender. Stir in the za’atar, the chopped summer squash, and the tomatoes. Add the reserved cooked lamb and juices, brown rice, and corn and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Gently heap the filling into the prepared zucchini boats, pressing it in the hollows. Pour 1 1/4 cup of water into the baking dish around (not on) the zucchini. Bake 40 minutes, then top with the grated cheese and continue to cook until the cheese has melted. Carefully arrange the stuffed zucchini on a serving dish and serve hot with the prepared garlic-yogurt. 6 generous servings

Star Recommends: Teutonic Whole Cluster Pinot Noir—Pinot Noir from Oregon made in a distinctly German style. Definitely more up front and assertive than its New World counterparts. This Pinot exhibits bright red fruits and a luxurious body that will pair quite nicely with the flavors in this dish. If it’s a little warm outside this wine can stand up to a slight chill to make it more refreshing. Enjoy.


Vietnamese Lemongrass Green Beans and Tofu
Adapted from www.herbivoracious.com.
Frying the tofu in a separate pan means you’ll end up with a nice crispy crust on the tofu cubes. Make a pot of rice, and this is a nice and easy weeknight meal.

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, outer layers removed, bottom 1/4-inch trimmed, most of top trimmed away
  • 1 lb. firm tofu, patted dry, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Directions: Place the lemongrass on a cutting board, and pound it with the back of a knife or a can to smash it. When it’s smashed, mince and set aside.

Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, and fry the tofu until golden-brown and crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer to drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Fry over high heat about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the green beans and toss to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown spots develop and the beans are crisp-tender. Add the tofu, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the pan and toss to incorporate. Cook 1-2 minutes, until heated through, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Foris Pinot Blanc—Apple with lemon highlights and hints of ginger on the nose, the palate is full bodied with brine and tangerine flavors cut with bracing minerality continuing through the long finish. A fleshy wine to go with food, there is just a whisper of sweetness that perfectly matches the sweetness of the beans and sufficient acidity to keep everything in balance.


Grilled Chicken and Green Bean Salad
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com.
This substantial summer salad is a meal on its own. Tender, grilled chicken and blanched green beans are tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.

  • 2 large, bone-in chicken breasts, with skin (about 1 pound)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, large, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Directions: Heat a grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts all over with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is lightly charred and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, shallot, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water for 6-8 minutes, until just tender. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to chill. Set aside.

Drizzle the olive oil into the shallot and lemon juice mixture, and whisk to combine. Remove the skin from the chicken and use two forks to shred the chicken meat into large pieces. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and add the green beans. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then top with the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Sineann Gruner Veltliner—This first Grüner Veltliner from Sineann is lightly aromatic with notes of citrus, apple, and spice. It drinks off dry with sharped edged, green apple-like acids.


Green Beans with Almond Pesto
Adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com.
Try using a combination of purple, yellow, and green beans for an even more colorful side dish, perfect alongside grilled burgers.

  • 2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted, cooled
  • 1 1/4 oz. parmesan or pecorino
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

Directions: Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Cook the bean in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain, then submerge in the ice water bath to fully cool. Drain again, and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almonds, cheese, garlic, thyme leaves, crushed red pepper, and salt. Process to form a coarse paste. Add the vinegar and pulse to combine. Pour in the olive oil, and stir to combine. Add more salt or pepper flakes to taste.
Top the green beans with almond pesto and toss to coat. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, top with the tomatoes, and serve. 6 generous servings.

Star Recommends: Montauto Gessia: Tuscan Sauvignon Blanc—Bright, with a straw-yellow color and greenish shimmers. The nose is intense and long lasting and delivers elderberry and citrus notes as well as white pulp fruits. Dry and fresh on the palate, this is a delicate medium-bodied with a good balance.


Tortilla Espanola with Summer Squash
Adapted from www.honestfare.com.
This egg dish is excellent cold or at room temperature, so it’s a nice make-ahead option for brunch, a potluck, or a weeknight dinner. You’ll need to flip it partway through cooking, so a nonstick or very well-seasoned pan is essential.

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 yellow crookneck squash, sliced into ribbons, small dice, or half moons
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into ribbons, small dice, or half moons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste
  • Black pepper

Directions: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy with the milk and 1/3 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

Coat a nonstick skillet in a generous amount of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the squash, zucchini, onion, parsley, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Pour in the eggs, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Use a plastic spatula or wooden spoon to press against the perimeter of the tortilla to let more raw egg pour into the pan. Continue to do this while it’s cooking. When the eggs are about 80% set, firmly place a large plate on top of the skillet. Carefully and quickly, while holding the plate tight against the pan, flip it over. Then slide the tortilla back into the pan so the less-cooked side can finish cooking. Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, then flip the tortilla onto a clean serving dish. Serve hot, or let it cool to room temperature, or refrigerate. 6 servings.

Star Recommends: Unculin Tinto Mencia—Bright cherry red in the glass, this Mencia possesses aromas of wild raspberries and black fruit with a-subtle note of violet. A slightly meaty note on the palate combined with a mineral component lends complexity, and is most enjoyable.


Turkish-style Braised Green Beans
Adapted from www.epicurious.com.
Braising in olive oil is the traditional way of cooking vegetables in Turkey. The long cooking time here intensifies the flavors and turns the green beans tender, and creates a delicious sauce that’s perfect for sopping up with fresh bread.

  • 2 tomatoes, medium
  • 2 onions, medium, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Plain Greek yogurt

Directions: With a sharp paring knife, slice a small x into the bottom of each tomato. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to the ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain them, then peel and coarsely chop.
In a wide, heavy, 5-6 quart pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, and cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the green beans, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, until the beans are very tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Serve with yogurt. 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Brusco Sangiovese—The taste is all Tuscan. A lot of Sangiovese that gets exported to the U.S., including many Chiantis, are pumped up with the addition of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah, with heavier extraction, and with barrique aging. Sangiovese’s delicacy and brightness gets lost amidst these tricks. As one Chianti producer said, Sangiovese should dance across your palate. Brusco is pure, lithe, and easy to drink; it’s a high-quality version of what you’d drink in a good local trattoria.


Cherry and Plum Bruschetta
Adapted from www.bonappetit.com.
You’ll want to serve this for dessert all summer.

  • 2 red plums, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 2 Tbs. sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ricotta (whole milk)
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick, toasted

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine the plums, cherries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod and add it to the bowl (or add the vanilla extract). Allow to rest 10-15 minutes until the fruit starts to release its juices.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta and remaining tablespoon of sugar until smooth.
Drizzle the toasted baguette slices with a little olive oil and spread each slice with a dollop of ricotta. Top with a spoonful of the fruit mixture, then drizzle each with some juice from the bowl. Sprinkle with a sea salt, and serve. 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Domaine Tariquet Rose—A beautiful shade of pomegranate red, with an exquisite bouquet, both subtle and intense. Mild spicy notes lead to a delightful duo of wild raspberry and flower petals. Rich, full bodied and fresh on the palate.

The fruit is a treat as the wine’s intensity retains an ethereal quality, leaving a trace of rich flavors and salty spiciness on the finish. A rosé made from red grapes, using the same vinification process as for white wine.


Plum Crumble
Adapted from www.orangette.net.
This crumble is made with not too much sugar, so the sweet-tart plums can take center stage. Serve for dessert on its own, or with some melty vanilla ice cream. It also doubles as a lovely breakfast.

  • 2 Tbs. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 12-14 plums, halved and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Directions: Place oven rack in the center of oven, and preheat to 375ºF.

In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the ginger, and the crystallized ginger. Add the plums, and stir to coat. Place the plums cut-side-down in a deep, 9-inch pie plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, remaining 1 cup of flour, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the baking powder, and salt. Add the egg, then use your hands to thoroughly combine, squeezing and pinching to make a crumbly topping. Sprinkle it in an even layer over the plums. Drizzle with the melted butter, and bake 30-35 minutes, until the crumble is browned and the plums are very tender. Let sit on a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. 8 servings.

Star Recommends: Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé—The new Leitz Spatburgunder Rose Trocken is a great summer wine with riveting acidity and mineral intensity, it drinks like a pink Riesling and it is wonderfully fresh and vibrant.


Plum Granita
Adapted from www.cooking.nytimes.com.
This intensely flavored granita is infused with red wine, cloves, and peppercorns for a summertime treat that’s unusual and unexpected.

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 clove
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 lb. ripe red plums, pitted
  • 1 Tbs. honey or agave

Directions: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the red wine, clove, peppercorns, vanilla, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Set aside to cool.
Place the plums, honey or agave, and chilled wine syrup in a blender. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Place a 9x11 baking dish in the freezer.

Use an immersion blender to blend the plum and wine mixture for 30 seconds. Transfer to the chilled baking dish and return to the freezer. For best results, use a timer and set it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a fork to scrape the ice crystals that have formed in the baking dish from the outside towards the center. Return the dish to the freezer and set the timer for another 30 minutes. Continue to scrape the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes until the mixture is a uniform frozen consistency of flaky crystals, but not frozen solid (see note). Scoop into bowls and serve.

Note: If the mixture does freeze solid, you can break it into chunks and pulse it in a food processor to break it up. Then transfer to a container and freeze. Bring to room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. 6 servings

Star Recommends: Duorum Colheita Red—A richly aromatic wine of black cherries, tar, mocha, and a hint of violets. On the palate, this wine’s rich texture is balanced perfectly against a zesty acidity, and rounded out by well-integrated, fine-grained tannins. This wine begs for another sip as its mellifluous flavors develop well into the finish.

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