Tag Archive | "peas"

Linguine Gets a Boost From Fresh Asparagus and Peas

AsparagusLinguine With Fresh Asparagus and Peas

This is a simple and wonderful dish from Sanford Winery to serve for a casual elegant dinner party.

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
1 cup shelled fresh peas or frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely minced

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus and boil until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut the spears into 2-inch pieces.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the peas and boil until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. (If using frozen peas, follow directions on package.) Drain and rinse immediately under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

In a skillet large enough to hold all of the cooked pasta, sauté the garlic and shallots over medium heat until softened. Add the cream and cook over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender. Drain but do not rinse.


Add the asparagus and peas to the sauce and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Add the linguine and toss to coat well. Add the Parmesan, salt, pepper and lemon zest, and toss well. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Wine pairing suggestions:

  • Rancho Sisquoc Sylvaner 2007
  • Channing Daughters Tocai Friulano
  • Chateau St. Jean Robert Young Chardonnay 2005
  • Mumm Napa Brut Prestige
  • Talley Bishop’s Peak Santa Barbara County Pinot Gris
  • Nickel & Nickel Searby Vineyard Chardonnay 2006

From “The Vineyard Cookbook” by Barbara Scott-Goodman/Sanford Winery

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Simple Yet Elegant Recipes Fill ‘The Vineyard Cookbook’

VineyardCookbook1Barbara Scott-Goodman’s “The Vineyard Cookbook” (Welcome Books, $24.95) is the type of cookbook I generally hate. The recipes are from numerous vineyards, which all too often means they call for pretentious ingredients none of us is like to keep in our cupboards. You know what I mean: ground duck breast, ciliegine (cherry-sized balls of fresh mozzarella), fresh goat’s milk or persimmon purée.

Plus, the recipes are divided into seasons, the times of year when the ingredients should be available. But whose seasons? Not South Texas’, that’s for sure. We have heirloom tomatoes available at various times in spring, summer and fall, not just in the summer when her recipe for Heirloom Tomato, Basil and Feta Cheese Salad appears.

I’ve never seen fresh peas here. Does that mean I’m not to make the Linguine With Fresh Asparagus and Peas (click here)? Not on your life. This is a dish you can make with asparagus any time of year and frozen peas.


Warm Mixed Olives

Yet, when I started to look at the recipes, my appetite took over and I embraced “The Vineyard Cookbook” in a big way. Why? Because the recipes are largely easy yet elegant, relying on the freshest ingredients prepared in the simplest ways possible. Nothing’s too fancy or fussy. And the photographs show you how beautiful these recipes can be on your dinner table.

[amazon-product]1599620642[/amazon-product]Who wouldn’t love Warm Mixed Olives (click here), a dish that goes together in minutes and yet could be a perfect appetizer or relish tray accompaniment? Or a simple Golden Walnut Cake With Fresh Berries and Cinnamon Cream? I can’t wait to make the Blue Cheese Caesar Salad, the Creamy Carrot and Chive Soup or the Buttermilk Biscuits.

These are the types of dishes you expect the people at wineries like Chateau St. Jean, Paraduxx, Nickel & Nickel or Willamette Valley Vineyards really eat when people aren’t looking. Though, I do have to ask, where are the recipes from Texas wineries? Maybe in the next edition.

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Griffin to Go: Foodie Phone Calls

griffintogo2The phone call arrived just in time for my hunger pangs to kick in.

OK, those of you who know me even slightly know that if I’m conscious, I’m generally hungry.

Still, the call came in at around 6 p.m. I’d been at the keyboard most of the day, and I was trying hard not to think of having to get up to fix dinner.

“You’ll never guess what I just had for dinner,” she cooed into the receiver.

Yes, it was like phone sex in the way that you can have food porn, words and images of food that just, well, arouse something within you. To paraphrase Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart, I may not know how to describe it, but I know it when I see/hear it.

My friend Carol from upstate New York was gushing on about how she had  baked the perfect sweet potato and topped it with a showering of fresh peas from her garden. Fresh peas are something we rarely see in this hot-as-Hades climate, so already my mouth was watering.

“Then I had a salad that I created out of thin air,” she continued, describing the three types of lettuces she had also picked from her garden. She tossed in some fresh dill, slivers of cucumber, chopped walnuts (not from her garden), just-picked blueberries and crumbles of goat cheese (also not from the garden). A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and 25-year-old balsamic vinegar finished off the dish.

griffintogo1“It was scrumptious,” she said. She even sent photos of the greens to prove how gorgeous it must have been.

That’s what foodie friends do. They love to talk about the meals they just had, the fresh items they just gathered from their gardens, the dishes they just had in (fill in name of foreign city) on their latest trip, the wine they drank while watching the sun set.

I got even with Carol by describing the half-dozen figs I harvested today, sending her off into daydreams of stuffing them with goat cheese and drizzling honey on top.

Somehow, this turned the conversation to wine, a trip we had taken to Napa Valley a few years back, restaurants we had eaten at, favorite flavors we missed.

By the time, the call was over, I had my dinner menu planned and ready to go. I, too, was going to have steamed peas (frozen ones, I’ll grant you, but vastly superior to canned). My touch would be to add butter and some mint from my garden.

I have often made a meal out of just that, but I went a few steps further tonight. I sliced some leftover rib-eye and heated the pieces only slightly. I then topped them with a pico de gallo made of minced red onions from the farmers market tossed with diced tomatoes, banana pepper and a fiery jalapeño from the backyard. Instead of salad, I opted for a few Kalamata olives, and the whole meal was ready in less than 10 minutes, including harvest time.

A glass of rosé on the side gave everything an added glow.

For dessert? Two of those figs. No goat cheese. No honey. Something that perfect doesn’t need to be dressed up.

Half a country away, we managed to share meals that nourished both body and friendship. Thanks, Carol.

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