While we can’t visit wineries for a while, many of them are doing their best to help people enjoy their wines at home, including providing recipes to stir up at home.
Not long ago, when people were still gathering for events, the Robert Mondavi Winery hosted a Chardonnay and Crab dinner with a feast prepared by chef Jeff Mosher and his staff.
It was a spectacular spread of Dungeness crab, Prince Edward Island mussels, Gulf shrimp and house-made andouille sausages, along with roasted kohlrabi and cauliflower. Interestingly, amongst all these riches, people were also heaping their plates with salad. The Little Gem lettuce was tossed with pickled kumquats, radishes, toasted pistachios and Midnight Moon goat cheese, and several people asked if it was possible find the recipe for the salad dressing.
Mosher came through, giving credit for the tasty dressing to sous chef Lisa Moore.
They poured three Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay; 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2017 Chardonnay Reserve, in addition to a 2017 Pinot Noir, Clone 115 from Carneros and the always enticing Moscato d’Oro.
Charred Ginger Scallion Vinaigrette
Sous Chef Lisa Moore, Robert Mondavi Winery
Yield: 1 quart
3-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 bunch of scallions, whites only
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup white verjus
1 cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 cups grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Char ginger and scallions in the broiler until blackened. Add shallots to vinegar and verjus to macerate for 15 minutes. Combine charred ginger, scallions, shallots, and vinegar in a blender and blend until combined. Slowly add oil to blender to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc and Viognier
You may not be hosting a large gathering this spring, but you can still celebrate at home, and Pine Ridge Winery is recommending their distinctive white blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier as a “refreshing white blend” alternative. It’s lower in alcohol (12.5% alcohol by volume) and its price, $16, is an extra enticement to try it.
Pine Ridge Vineyards founder Gary Andrus and his team first made the unusual blend as an experimental bottling combining two varieties that “would never share a bottle in their native France” but with admirable results — a bouquet of honeysuckle and orange blossoms and tropical fruit flavors.
Winery chef Susan Lassalette, Pine Ridge Vineyards shared her recipe for spring leek and goat cheese tart to pair with the wine for for your own private, if small, feast.
Spring Leek and Goat Cheese Tart
Serves 6 to 8
½ teaspoon kosher salt ¹⁄³ cup very cold water 1½ cups all-purpose flour 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1-inch pieces Filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 medium spring leeks, washed and sliced Kosher salt 1 large egg 2 egg yolks ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup crème fraîche ½ cup goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped thyme For the pastry:
Dissolve the salt in the water and set aside. Place flour into a food processor. Scatter the butter over the flour and pulse until there are still some pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the salt/water mixture and pulse for several seconds, just until the dough becomes a rough ball. Remove the dough from the processor. Shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch thick round sheet, using a bit of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface. If the dough gets too soft, refrigerate it briefly and then continue. Using a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, gently line the pan with the dough and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the tart with parchment and add pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment and continue to bake for about 5 minutes until the dough is a light golden brown.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
For the filling:
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the sliced leeks and season with salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft, about 8 minutes. Set the leeks aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolks. Stir in the cream, crème fraîche, goat cheese, thyme, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Spread the leeks evenly in the tart shell and pour the custard over the leeks.
Bake the tart at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, until the custard is just set. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Unmold the tart and serve.
Reach Sasha Paulsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-256-2262.
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