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Simple Fall Veggie Bowl by Meredith Griffin

Simple Fall Veggie Bowl by Meredith Griffin

Brussels, sweet potatoes, winter squash…combine all these to create a nutrient packed fall dish!

As the weather cools, I tend to only feel satisfied with heartier dishes, but I still want it to be nutritional and feel good after eating it. Roasting these veggies will bring out their sweetness and make them more satisfying to bite into.

I usually eat the veggies over some kind of cooked grain and call it a meal, and in that case, this recipe would serve two. However, it can be served with a protein, like salmon or chicken on the side and then it would serve four. Uncork either the Colour Reigns Red Blend or Pivot Merlot and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 lb or so of Brussels Sprouts, stemmed, and halved or quartered depending on their size (try to make them close in size to the cubes of sweet potato and squash)
  • 1 onion halved, and sliced into half circles
  • 1-2tbsp of a combination of fresh herbs (I use thyme, rosemary and sage)
  • Marcona Almonds or regular almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated or sliced into thin slivers using a vegetable peeler
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1-2 cups of brown rice, Farro or Barley, optional
  • 1/2 cup if chickpeas, optional

How to Prepare

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425° and line a couple baking sheets with non-stick foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine squash and sweet potatoes together on one pan and add herbs, about 1 tbsp olive, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes and then toss.
  3. While those begin cooking, on the second sheet pan add Brussels Sprouts to one side of the pan and sliced onions to the other half. Toss each with olive oil and salt.
  4. After the squash and potatoes have cooked for about 10-15 minutes, add Brussels and onions to oven and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once veggies are cooked to tender and just starting to brown, remove from the oven.
  6. Toss all the veggies together in a bowl with cooked grain and add almonds and cheese. You may want to add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper over the top.
  7. Enjoy!

Why these wines

Brussles Sprouts can be hard to pair with wine, but roasting them helps reduce their bitterness and draw out their sweetness. By adding different veggies, cheese and nuts, it creates more complex flavor and texture which opens the door for wines like Merlot, Grenache and Bordeaux style red blends. The other roasted veggies add earthiness, the Parmigiano Reggiano adds umami and saltiness allowing the dish to hold up to medium body red wines like these. If you added some mushrooms, it might be even pair well with a Cab Sauv. Cheers!

 

Smokey Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich Paired with Red Blend

Smokey Vegan Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich Paired with Red Blend

For those looking for a vegan dish to pair with a red blend, I created this recipe. I was first inspired by the deep smoky flavor in this vegan cheese and two, by autumn tomatoes.

At the start of fall there are often an abundance of tomatoes still to be used that are either overripe or slightly underripe, thus cooking them can be the best way to use them.

Ingredients for two people

  • Approximately one pound of tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oregano (if using fresh use about 1 tbsp and 1 tsp if dried)
  • 4 slices of your preferred bread (I like to use a hearty whole grain or Italian bread)
  • Smoked Mozzarella or Miyoko’s Smoked Mozzarella Vegan Cheese
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • Handful of basil, torn into small pieces
  • Ingredients for side salad to serve with grilled cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Depending on the size of the tomatoes you can cut them in half or quarters just make sure they are all about the same size.
  3. Place tomatoes and shallots on sheet pan and drizzle with olive, salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 -20 minutes and then add spinach and basil, return to oven and continue to cook until tomatoes are softened to your likening and spinach has wilted (about another 10 -15 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. While the tomatoes and shallots are cooking prepare a side salad and uncork the Colour Reigns Red Blend.
  5. Spread each slice of bread with Miyoko’s cheese.
  6. Top one slice of bread with the tomato mixture and then top with a second slice of bread.
  7. If you have a panini maker or a George Forman grill, spray with cooking oil and cook until tops brown slightly. Or heat a skillet over medium heat, add a spray of oil or brush oil on the outside sides of the bread and place sandwiches in pan. Place another pan on top of the sandwiches so that it compresses the bread. Heat for a couple minutes until bottom bread is golden brown and then flip and repeat on the other side.

Why this wine:

We paired this with our Colour Reigns Red Blend, which is bursting with red and black fruit notes, plus baking spices from its time aged in oak. Additionally, this wine is a 2016 and thus, has started to develop what we refer to as tertiary notes, which is where notes of earth and mushroom come into the play. All these characteristics make this complex, but the flavors are well integrated which mirrors the myriad of flavors from the tomatoes, shallots, herbs, spinach and smoked cheese that melds together during the heating. The sandwich needs the smoky, creamy cheese to balance the acid from the tomatoes so that it complements the wine. We also think a Sangiovese would pair with this sandwich.

Lighter Corn Chowder Paired with Chardonnay

Lighter Corn Chowder Paired with Chardonnay

As the summer season ends and the fall begins, soup starts making its way back into the weekly dinner rotation. I first made this recipe several years ago when I began the tradition of preparing a three-course dinner, each paired with a different wine for our anniversary celebration. I served it at room temperature, which I really enjoyed, but my husband prefers it served hot so you can choose.

This soup is delicious with either the Wine Snob* or Unwined Chardonnay or with a White Burgundy.

Ingredients for 2 people

4-5 Ears of fresh corn (or a 16oz bag of frozen corn)

1 Shallot, diced

1 tsp fresh thyme

3 cups vegetable broth (or low sodium chicken broth)

½ avocado, diced

Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Splash of lime juice

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Optional, 2 ounces cooked crab

How to prepare:

  1. Carefully remove the kernels from the cob into a bowl.
  2. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once warm add shallots, salt and pepper. Cook until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add corn kernels (hold back about ½ cup), broth and cooked shallots to a blender and puree until the mixture is creamy.
  4. Return mixture back to pan shallots were cooked in along with the remaining corn kernels. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Meanwhile, combine avocado, tomatoes, lime juice and if using, crab in a small bowl.
  6. When ready, portion chowder into two bowls and evenly top with avocado mixture.
  7. Uncork the bottle and enjoy!

*I’ve also grilled the corn to add a little bit of that smoky flavor before removing the kernels. The key is to only cook it until al dente rather than all the way.

 Why these wines:

Although this soup is not made with cream, it has a creamy texture, which pairs deliciously with the creamy texture of these Chardonnays. The green apple and citrus notes in these Chards also lend some acidity which helps cleanse the palate after each bite, so that each subsequent bite is just as tasty! The sweetness from the corn is why this wine would not pair well with a full body red wine.