Jun 202012
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegetarian dish paired with two different wines from Broadbent Selections.
To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.
In this case, mushrooms, thyme, butternut, garlic and chives.
The wines to pair are Organic Pares Balta Penedes Garnatxa Cabernet, 2009, Spain  and Dr Hermann Riesling , 2011, Mosel Germany 
Organic Pares Balta Penedes Garnatxa Cabernet, 2009, Spain and Dr Hermann Riesling , 2011, Mosel Germany
This dish was one of those created on the fly.  I had butternut, mushroom and thyme on hand and the caramelized onions are a given when I’m making any pizza.  A tomato based sauce did not sound appealing so I grabbed some fresh chives from my herb garden and made a simple pesto by blended them with garlic, salt and a bit of olive oil.
Fresh Pesto
Here is the rating info.


Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine (and fellow tasters).
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale
Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 How well the dish turned out.

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Thyme Pizza
with Garlic Chive Pesto Rating of  YUM

I liked the freshness of the herbs and chives with the earthiness of the mushrooms.  The caramelized onions and butternut squash add a touch of sweetness.  It made for an interesting appetizer on Father’s Day as opposed to the usual chips n’ salsa.

Category #2 The Wines

I actually did this wine tasting on Sunday during Father’s Day; the participants inlcuded me, my Mom and Dad, my father in law Paul and my brother in law Matt.  Paul’s career takes him around the world to many of the American Embassies to review energy efficiency.  During his visits he enjoys local wineries and sampling regional wines so we dubbed him our “expert” of the tasting.

Organic Pares Balta Penedes Garnatxa Cab

Organic Pares Balta Penedes Garnatxa Cabernet, 2009, Spain
” Black cherry, flecks of earth, anise, wild herbs, graphite.   Soft tannins, sees about 7 mos of oak.”
PARES BALTA is a family owned organic winery about half an hour south of Barcelona. The winemakers are two young women, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas. Pares Balta has a National Park as part of its land holdings. Pares Balta has their own colony of bees to pollinate the vines and a flock of sheep to eat weeds in the vineyards and provide a natural compost. These vineyards have never seen chemicals.

Me rating of YUM, lovely medium body, herby, earthy, toast
Mom rating of Nice, woody, smooth, no aftertaste, dry finish
Dad rating of Nice, dry
Paul rating of YUM, reminds him of Malbec, spicy
Matt rating of Nice-YUM, dry for him – likes his wine a bit sweeter

Dr Hermann Riesling

Dr Hermann Riesling , 2011, Mosel Germany Fine concentration and intensity mark this creamy white, which offers apricot, apple compote and vanilla flavors tinged by botrytis. There’s enough acidity to keep this light and long on the finish.” This wine is fermented in steel tanks for 6 to 12 weeks and the winery is run by Dr Rudy Hermann and his so Christian. The family has been in wine making for several hundred years. Me rating of YUM, now mind you, I’m not a fan of sweet wines, but if I was, I would love this one. It is a little fizzy, cool, sweet and tasted like honey
Mom rating of YUM, smooth, could drink a lot of this
Dad rating of ho hum, not a fan of sweet wines
Paul rating of Nice, the more he drank the more he liked it. Tasted pears.
Matt rating of ho hum, likes drier wines. Reminded him of muscadine grapes

Category #3 The Pairing

Organic Pares Balta Penedes Garnatxa Cabernet, 2009, Spain Rating of Damn that’s Good
It tamed the garlic a bit and the wine became a sweeter as I started munching the pizza.

Dr Hermann Riesling , 2011, Mosel Germany Rating of YUMThe riesling enhanced the fresh herby flavor, the sweet butternut squash and earthy mushrooms.

Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Thyme Pizza with Garlic Chive Pesto
Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.
Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Thyme Pizza with Garlic Chive Pesto
Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Thyme Pizza with Garlic Chive Pesto
Serves 8 appetizer size or 4 dinner
1 Tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan butter
2 onions, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp olive oil
10oz (283 grams) cubed butternut squash, I used frozen
5oz (141 grams) mixed mushrooms, I used frozen organic Asian blend (about 1/2 bag)
1  tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 pkgs whole wheat naan (2 naan bread)
Garlic Chive Pesto
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 handful fresh chives, minced
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt (increase to taste)
1. Heat 1 Tbsp Earth Balance over medium high heat.  Add onions, stir and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes adding water or broth it mixture begins sticking; remove onions from pan.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan, increase heat to medium high; stir in butternut squash, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook about 10 minutes or until mixture is heated through and butternut begins to brown, stirring frequently.  Stir onions back in, remove pan from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.  Blend pesto ingredients in Magic Bullet or mix well by hand.  Place naan on a baking sheet; top each with half pesto mixture and half butternut squash mixture.  Bake about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through.
Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 370.4
Total Fat 18.9 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 891.0 mg
Potassium 412.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 47.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 8.7 g

Vitamin A 101.9 %
Vitamin C 28.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 185.2
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 445.5 mg
Potassium 206.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 2.0 g
Protein 4.3 g

Vitamin A 51.0 %
Vitamin C 14.3 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 222012
Even kids with lots of food allergies want a pizza part every now and then, so last night we had one!  This made my daughter very happy.
We used brown rice tortillas and some AMAZING garlic marinara we picked up at the farmers market, Joy’s Gourmet, Garlic Joy.  I don’t even think all caps can convey how good this stuff is.  Fresh like I just made it, a bit chunky and the perfect amount of garlic.  This made momma very happy, and in fact, I even had to make a dressing out of it by simply adding a touch of agave.  To top it off we used Daiya shredded mozzarella.  It’s vegan, dairy and soy free and made with a mixture of rice.  We don’t use too much because we like to stay towards whole foods, but every now and then it’s ok. 
To munch on we made a fresh salad of bok choy from KYV Farm and then we took it all out to the back porch for a picnic.  While we were out there we saw a small brown bunny munching on clover!  This made it much easier to get my daughter to eat bok choy.  We pretended we were bunnies.
Tortilla Pizza
Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
2 Brown Rice Tortillas, we used Food For Life
Enough gluten free sauce to cover the base of each pizza, we used Joy’s Gourmet
Non-dairy cheese, we used Daiya mozzarella shreds, to cover
1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray one side of tortilla with cooking spray, flip and spray the second side.  Place on baking sheet and top with sauce and cheese.  Bake for about five minutes or until cooked through.
Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Pizza

Calories 244.0
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 2.5 mg
Sodium 668.0 mg
Potassium 95.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 4.1 g

 Marinara Dressing
Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
About 1/2 cup sauce
1 Tbsp agave
1. Mix ingredients together and top fresh bok choy or salad of choice.

Jul 122010
At this point in my life I have to face the cold hard facts.  As scary as they are.  Between working full time and having a very active two year old I just can’t seem to find the extra time to make home made gnocchi, pasta from scratch, grow my own garden or…make crust and be able to do a few fun things on the weekends.  I’ve had crust on the to do list hanging over my head, taunting me every chance it gets. 
Crust: I’m crust. I’m better home made. I’m so easy even you should be able to make me.

Me: Look crust, I know you are easy and delicious but I’m just going to use naan for now. 

Crust: You aren’t a real foodie if you can’t even make your own crust.

Me: That’s it crust, you are OFF my to-do list.  For  now.
I’ll just shut up now and let the pictures speak for themselves on how the naan crust came out.  In fact, this time I’ll post ALL the pictures just to shut that crust up.

Goat Cheese and Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza
Serves 2


1 whole wheat naan
1 zucchini sliced lengthwise
3 cherry tomatoes, I used Campari
1/4 green pepper
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste
Olive oil spray, I used an olive oil mister
3 Tbsp pasta sauce
1/4 cup herbed goat cheese
1/4 cup cubed cooked chicken (optional, you could leave this off for a vegetarian option)
1 sprig of thyme, leaves chopped


1.  Preheat grill to medium heat.

2. Season the zucchini, tomatoes and green pepper with salt, pepper and garlic powder and spray all sides evenly with olive oil spray.  Grill each side 4 to 5 minutes or to desired done-ness.

3. Remove veggies from grill to a small pan and slice the green pepper. 

4. Spray the top of the naan with olive oil spray, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place on grill for about 2 to 3 minutes or just until grill marks appear.  Flip and top with pasta sauce, sliced zucchini, green pepper, tomatoes, chicken, goat cheese and thyme.  Close grill lid for about three minutes or just until goat cheese softens. 

5. Slide naan onto plate and slice into quarters.  One serving is half a naan.

BOOYA!  Take THAT homemade crust!  I don’t hear you talking now crust!

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