Cade Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 with Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage


Serves 4-6

Kosher salt
1-1/2 lb. medium parsnips, peeled, cored, and cut into medium dice (2-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 1 cup)
3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh sage
3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
2 cups arborio rice
Pinch of crumbled saffron (optional)
6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the parsnips and boil until firm-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until sizzling and crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the sage is starting to crisp, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in an 11- to 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, a small pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice, 2 tsp. salt, and the saffron (if using), stirring well to coat. Add 2 cups of the broth and the wine; simmer, stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue adding the broth in 1 cup increments, stirring and adjusting the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and letting each addition be almost absorbed before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is nearly but not fully tender (al dente) and still a little soupy (this usually takes 14 to 16 minutes after the first addition of liquid). You may not use all the broth, but you should use at least 4 cups.
Fold the parsnip mixture into the risotto. Add the butter and Parmigiano and stir gently to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more grated Parmigiano.

Vie di Romans Pinot Grigio Deessimis 2010 with Roasted Vegetable Salad with Sherry Dressing

Serves 4

For the vegetables:
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, quartered
1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (6 oz. each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small sweet potato (6 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small celery root (8 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the salad and dressing:
1/2 lb. hardy greens (spinach, baby kale, or escarole), stemmed if necessary
1 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 1 oz. shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

Roast the vegetables:
Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the oil, garlic, onion, carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, celery root, salt, and pepper to coat the vegetables well. Spread them out in one layer on rimmed baking sheets and roast, stirring frequently, until tender and brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Make the salad and dressing:
When the vegetables are almost finished, put the greens in a large stainless-steel mixing bowl; set aside. (If you don’t have a stainless bowl, see below.) In a small bowl, whisk the herbs, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle half the dressing (reserve the rest) over the greens and set the bowl over a burner heated to medium. With tongs, toss the greens in the bowl over the heat just until the greens begin to wilt.

(If you don’t have a stainless bowl, heat half the dressing, reserving the rest, in a small saucepan and toss it with the greens in a mixing bowl off the heat.)

Add the hot cooked vegetables to the greens and toss well. Distribute the salad among four plates, top with the Parmesan, and drizzle on the remaining dressing or pass it at the table. Serve warm.

Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand Bottle 2008 with Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Pecan-Shallot Butter Recipe
Serves 4

For the butter:
3-1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 medium shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt

For the potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes of similar size (10 to 12 oz. each), scrubbed and patted dry

Make the butter:
Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until well browned and slightly crisp, about 6 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 6 Tbs. butter with the shallots, pecans, maple syrup, thyme, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Blend together with a spoon or fork until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Set aside for at least 1 hour at room temperature. (If not using within a few hours, cover and refrigerate. Bring the butter to room temperature before using.)
Bake the potatoes:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Lay the potatoes on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

To serve, make a cut along the top of each potato, push on the ends to pry it partially open, and fluff the flesh with a fork. Place a dollop of the maple-pecan-shallot butter inside each potato and pass extra butter at the table, if desired.

Zardetto Prosecco with Olive Tapenade Tart with Caramelized Red Onions
Serves 6

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (7-1/3 cups)
Kosher salt
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup jarred brined olives, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta
1 large egg

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil with the butter over medium heat. Add the anchovies, pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the anchovies begin to break down, about 30 sec
onds. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, let them cool slightly, and then gently stir in the parsley and 1/2 Tbs. of the thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the olives, the garlic, lemon juice, zest, and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and 1/2 Tbs. thyme into a coarse paste. Set the tapenade aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Dock the pastry by pricking it all over with a fork, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Spread the olive tapenade evenly on the pastry within the border. Top with the onions, dollops of the ricotta, and the remaining 1/4 cup olives.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1/2 tsp. water. Brush the pastry border with the egg wash and bake the tart until the pastry is puffed, deep golden-brown on the edges, and light golden-brown on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool briefly and serve warm.

Rutherford Hill Merlot 2007 with Greek Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4-6

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb.), cut into 2 by 1/2-inch strips
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for salting the pasta water
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic (about 2 large cloves)
3 medium tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
1 lb. farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
5 packed cups fresh spinach leaves (about 8 oz. or 2 bunches), washed and stems trimmed
1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp.dried oregano
2 cups dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (about 7 oz.)
1 cup pitted Kalamata or other black olives
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Arrange the chicken strips in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet (this makes it easier to season and dredge them). Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge the chicken in flour on both sides.

Place a large (12- to 14-inch) sauté pan over high heat for a couple of minutes. When hot, add the olive oil, swirl the pan to coat, and add the chicken strips in a single layer. Cook in batches if needed. Cook until slightly browned, about 1 minute. Turn the pieces or stir them so they brown evenly, about 1-1/2 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-high. Push the chicken strips to the side of the pan as they continue to cook, and add the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute, but do not let it brown or it will taste bitter.

Add the tomatoes, season with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper, and cook until they start to give off their juices, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium (6- to 8-quart) pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously (it should taste like the sea). Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain (but don’t rinse, or you’ll rinse away starches that will help thicken the sauce) and return to the empty pot.

Add the spinach, oregano, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the pan with the tomatoes. Stir until the spinach has wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine to the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced slightly and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the feta and olives to the pan, stirring well to incorporate. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has thickened slightly. (Careful! Your pan can’t be too hot or the butter and sauce will separate and look oily. If that happens, take the sauce off the heat and add more feta to help the sauce bind together.)

Stir the sauce into the cooked and drained pasta in the pot. Place over medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce and allow the pasta to absorb the flavors, stirring now and then.

Serve in individual bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.

Veuve Clicquot with Avocado Green Goddess Dip
Serves 6

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
2 scallions (both green and white parts), thinly sliced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. sliced fresh chives
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

All featured wines are available for purchase from Gosling’s Wine Cellar at 9 Dundonald Street, Hamilton (Tel.: 295-1123). Recipes provided by