Fancy Food Work

A few nights ago we had friends over.   They had purchased a lovely bottle of wine whilst vacationing in Italy, hand carried it all the way back to the USofA, and left it with us to share with them at some point.

The wine, from the Montalcino region of Italy is a Sangiovese, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.

Lemartine says this about their wine –

IMG_1639Winemaker Notes

Lemartine has a distinctive richness combined with a classic elegance. It is a hearty, rich and elegant wine. The black and red berry fruits integrate to enhance a beautiful structure and firm, yet never aggressive tannins. Its generosity delivers minerality, intense fruit flavors and hints of leather, spices and black licorice.

In Lemartine, the Brunello grape still plays the lead role, as it does in all Poggio Antico wines, but here it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (planted back in 1997 and 2003 respectively). These three varietals, rigorously and exclusively estate grown at 420 meters altitude, refine separately in small French oak barrels of varied toasts. On the day they are blended together, they become Lemartine. Prior to release, the wine enjoys a further refinement in the bottle for at least four months.

Ok, so why the background on the wine?   I needed to pair a meal to this wine.  And not just a meal, but a sort of special meal, befitting the wine.

We started the evening with a Vouvray paired with a butter bean spread.

Butter Bean Spread

  • 1can butter beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 med Onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper as desired

I started by sautéing the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, then dumped that, the beans, the tahini, about 3 tblsps olive oil a pinch of salt, and a bigger pinch of coarse ground black pepper into my food processor.  I puréed til quite smooth.  Uncover, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and olive oil as desired.

I served this with some whole grain crostini I toasted earlier in the day.

Dinner was a

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup.

  • 1/2 med Onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 lg cauliflower
  • 2-3 c vegetable broth
  • Curry powder, how much you use will be up to your preferences.
  • Garbanzo flour
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper as desired

I started by sautéing the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil.  I then added about 2 cups vegetable broth and 1/3 of a lg cauliflower coarsely chopped.  I let this simmer till the cauliflower was soft.

I added a pinch of salt, and a bigger pinch of coarse ground black pepper, and a tablespoon of a fabulous curry powder that I can’t remember the name of; it was a gift from Cliff and Alison from Merida.

All this then went in to the food processor with about 3 tblsps of garbanzo flour.  This was puréed and extra veg broth was added to get to desired consistency.  For plating, a large scoop in the bowl, topped with  toasted cashews, and I used fennel fronds for garnish.

Note:  using garbanzo flour as a thickener and to give a creamy taste and feel is something I learned whilst in Italy, in Lucca I believe.

It was really good.

And then a Stuffed Roasted Eggplant

I took inspiration from a recipe I saw online in Food and Wine

  • I used 2 medium purple eggplants, washed, ends cut off and split in half.
  • 2 tblsp miso and 2 tblsp mirin all mixed together the set the cut sides of the in a pan with the liquid to marinate.
  • While that was happening I rough chopped
  • 1 med onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 8-10 baby bella mushrooms
  • About 1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • this stuff was then drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted(roughly 400f for about 20 minutes

The eggplant was also roasted about the same amount of time.

Once the veg mix was close to done I drizzled it with balsamic vinegar and let the acid burn off in the oven.

The eggplant was served over a Mushroom Orzo.

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, I boil water and cover the porcinis to hydrate.

About 5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced

So I put about 2 c veg broth, and the porcini liquid, as well as the mushrooms on a medium heat, bring to boil, add about 3/4 c orzo and let cook.

Then, to serve, I placed an amount of mushroom orzo on the plate and spread 4-5 inches, then set the 1/2 eggplant on that, finally spoon on the roasted veg mix.

This is then garnished with chopped mint, sliced spring onion, and toasted sesame seed.


and of course I completely neglected a dessert.  I seem to be pretty consistent on forgetting about dessert.

About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends. Then in 2016 I moved to Richmond, Virginia, USA. Culture shock continues.
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3 Responses to Fancy Food Work

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for the detailed recipes for the different meal partners. It sounds and looks very, very delicious!!!!

  2. This looks fabulous! Thanks for the detailed recipes – must try!

    • Thanks Alison, I was requested to share the recipes and instructions, unfortunately, even when given a recipe I rarely follow it, and as you read, I use it as inspiration. These are all great recipes, and completely vegan.

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