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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant
Adapted from www.adventuresincooking.com.
This is a substantial meal as is, but the filling can easily be modified for more protein by adding ground beef or crumbled tofu.

  • 3 large eggplants or 5 small
  • 1 c. dry quinoa, rinsed in cool water
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced, plus 2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 head garlic
  • 1 c. crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 3/4 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt. divided
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped, plus 3 Tbs.
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced

Directions: Slice the eggplants lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/2 inch around the skin. Chop up the scooped-out flesh, and set aside.

In a medium pot, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer and cover. Cook until tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sauté the diced yellow onion in a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until transparent. Add the chopped eggplant, minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, oregano, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, ginger, allspice, and curry powder. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Slice the top quarter off of the head of garlic and place in the middle of a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then fold up the aluminum foil to seal. Set aside.

Remove the skillet with the eggplant from heat. Stir in the 1/4 c. of chopped fresh mint and fold in the cooked quinoa. Arrange the eggplant halves in a large baking dish, with the hollow side facing up. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the eggplants and set any remaining quinoa in the baking dish around the eggplants. Gently pour the remaining 1 c. of broth and cup of water into the baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the stuffing is lightly golden and slightly crisp. Bake the foil-wrapped head of garlic in a separate baking dish alongside the eggplant.

To mkae the raita: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, remaining olive oil, minced jalapeno, 2 tablespoons minced onion, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the raita and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of fresh mint. Serve the stuffed eggplant with the raita on the side. Enjoy! Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Tessellae Carignan—An old-world styled fruit-bomb, with its massive and decadently-styled blackberry fruit, spice, licorice and plum, this full-bodied effort has no hard edges, beautiful purity of fruit and a seamless texture that stays nicely focused and clean.


Sweet Corn, Cherry, and Peach Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese
Adapted from www.flourishingfoodie.com.
This fresh and colorful salad can easily be doubled or tripled.

  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 peach, pitted and sliced
  • 1 c. cherries, pitted
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese

Directions: Boil or grill the corn. When it’s cooked, remove the kernels and set aside to cool.  Place the sliced peach, cherries, and shallot in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and lime juice, then add the arugula and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the corn kernels, and serve topped with the goat cheese. Serves 2

Star Recommends: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier—Brilliant and refreshing, opening with fresh lemon, juicy honeydew melon, pomelo and sweet mango, complemented by soft orange blossom and carnation floral notes.


Eggplant Meatball Pita Sandwiches
Adapted from www.sunset.com.

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 lb., ground beef or lean ground lamb
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped eggplant
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 rounds pita bread, cut in half, warmed

Directions: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Lightly grease a baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, beef or lamb, eggplant, onion, parsley, pine nuts, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange and inch apart on the prepared baking dish.  Bake until well-browned, 20-25 minutes. Pour out any fat from the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce and Worcestershire sauce over the meatballs, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the dish. Gently toss the meatballs to coat. Return to oven and bake until the sauce is piping hot, 3-5 minutes. Scoop the meatballs and sauce into the warmed pita pockets, and serve. 6 servings

Star Recommends: San Quirico Chianti colli Sensei: Intense ruby red in color, this Chianti exhibits notes of fresh cherries, tobacco, and violets. On the palate, it is generously well-rounded with lively acidity and firm tannins. Made with organicallygrown grapes.


 

Onion and Red Pepper Confit
Adapted from www.food52.com.
The longer this confit cooks, the better it tastes. Serve over grilled fish, add to pasta sauce, use to fill an omelet, or spread on top of crostini.

  • 2 Tbs. good quality olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 red bell peppers, or a combination or red and yellow, roasted, skins removed, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • black pepper

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the paprika, and reduce heat to very low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are browned and caramelized. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Star Recommends: Wollershiem Pinot Noir—A grand and elegant wine with aromas of black currant, bay leaves and eucalyptus and a silky palate. Highlights of French oak provide for a long smooth finish.


Vegan Lasagna with Roasted Summer Vegetables
Adapted from www.food52.com.
Plenty of roasted end-of-summer vegetables make this lasagna so substantial you may not notice the absence of cheese.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 3/4 lb. zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 10 oz. lasagna noodles
  • 2 packages extra-firm tofu (about 28 oz. total), drained of liquid, crumbled
  • 1/3 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, minced, or 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 15 basil leaves, torn

Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place sliced eggplant on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Set aside 20-30 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry. Place the zucchini slices on a second baking sheet. Brush the eggplant and zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 25 minutes, or until tender and just turning brown. Remove from oven and lower heat to 350˚F. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crumbled tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Stir until the mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more lemon juice, herbs, or salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/2 c. of marinara sauce into a 9x12-inch baking dish, and spread it out to coat.  Arrange four lasagna noodles over the sauce, then layer with half of the roasted vegetables. Spread half of the tofu mixture over the vegetables. Layer four more lasagna noodles on top, then spread another 1 c. of marinara over the noodles. Continue with one more layer of the remaining roasted vegetables, and a layer of the rest of the tofu. Top with the last of the lasagna noodles, and the last c. of marinara sauce. Bake for 40 minutes, until the lasagna is gently bubbling and the edges of the noodles start to crisp. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle the top with torn basil, and slice and serve. 6 generous servings

Star Recommends: Parusso Dolcetto d’ Alba—Ruby red with violet tinges in color. Fruity, notes of white flowers and violets with fresh, elegance concentration of fruits in the palate. A stunning all around food wine.


 

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