Bites and Libations
We get asked all the time about what foods would pair best with our wines. Well, we’ve had everything from salads of beautiful summer produce, to a Sunday roast chicken, to a bag of tortilla chips….so we’re inclined to think just about anything can go with these beauties. However, we recently took a more thoughtful approach to finding some foods that intertwine beautifully with the particular flavors and aromas of the varieties we work with, and we’ve got the recipes here for your perusal. Plus, Corinne’s mom Denise is a killer cook and took the ideas out of our imaginations and into her own kitchen, so we can say that these recipes are indeed “kid tested, mother approved”.
PRESERVED LEMON RICOTTA
12 oz. fresh, good quality ricotta 2 teaspoons minced flat leaf parsley
1/2-3/4 preserved lemon, rind only 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
(amount used depends upon saltiness of 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Combine all in a food processor and pulse until lemon is finely chopped and ingredients are well combined. Serve with french baguette slices. This is best made at least 3-4 hours ahead of time.
WATERMELON AND FETA SKEWERS
12 oz. sheep’s milk feta 2 teaspoons minced basil
1 small, seedless watermelon 2 teaspoons minced, fresh mint
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
Cube watermelon into 1 inch pieces, and cube the block of feta into 1/2 inch pieces. alternate watermelon cubes, feta, and minced herb pieces on skewers to your liking. Drizzle pomegranate molasses over skewers before serving.
MOROCCAN MEATBALLS with MINT PESTO
2 large eggs 2 garlic cloves, divided
1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 lb. each ground pork and turkey
2 teaspoons Moroccan spice blend (below) 2 cups mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, plus 1 cup 2-1/2 tablespoons apricot jam
parsley leaves with tender stems 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons plus 3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Place rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Combine eggs, panko, spice blend, finely chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Finely chop 1 garlic clove and add to bowl. Add pork and turkey and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.
Gently roll meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch diameter balls; you should have about 40. Place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, puree mint, apricot jam, parsley leaves with stems, remaining garlic clove, 1/3 cup oil and a big pinch of salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir entire pesto mixture into yogurt and refrigerate. Make a few hours ahead of time to season.
Moroccan spice blend:
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup good quality kalamata olives 1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes in oil, drained 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf
1 tablespoon capers parsley
1 tablespoon basil pesto 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
to loosen, if needed
1 package puff pastry (leave in fridge overnight to thaw)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
6 ounces feta, crumbled 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces cream cheese, cold is fine Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Make the filling: Blend filling ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and spreadable. Mixture will be thick. You can thin with more olive oil if needed, but no need to make this thin like a sauce. Set aside.
Make whipped feta dip: Blend all dip ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Place in bowl for dipping. This is best made 3-4 hours ahead of time.
Assemble the tart: Heat oven to 350°. Roll first piece of puffed pastry flat on a large piece of parchment paper into a 12-inch circle; use a 12-inch round plate, bowl or pan lid to mark the size for a clean cut. Repeat with second dough, setting one aside in fridge until needed.
Place first round on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread with all of the filling to within 1-inch from edge. Dab edges with water and place second round on top. Lightly press edges together. Set a small glass or jelly jar upside down in the middle. Using kitchen scissors, cut from the edge up to the glass in quarters. Cut through each quarter again, making 8 strips, and again, making 16 strips, and one last time so that you have 32 rays of pastry emanating from the center. If at any point in the cutting the pastry feels too soft and hard to cut, place in freezer for a few minutes to firm it up.
Remove the glass. Gently twist each strand 2 times. Beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush over pastry.
Bake for 30 to 35 mnutes, until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a serving platter.