Meatless Monday: Red or White?
Farro & Quinoa stuffed squash was so good, even a confirmed meat & potatoes guy like me would be happy to have this as a regular “go-to” meal. This single dish has such a variety of flavors and textures, you won’t miss the meat! We tried this main dish with both red and white wines. Which do you think was the better pairing?
This fall, we have been working to incorporate regular meatless options into our dinners, and Meatless Monday has been a good goal. I found this recipe as a sidebar to the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2012 Top 100 wines. I was intrigued by the placement of the recipe with their top wines article, so I decided to give it try.
First, you’ll cut and scoop out some winter squash, and roast them.
The filling has a number of steps to keep you busy while the squash roasts. The recipe says to cook the farro according to instructions; but I bought it at the coop in the bulk aisle. No instructions! Luckily, that’s never a problem with the internet.
The quinoa is a bit more familiar. I knew to roast it first to give it a richer flavor.
The other ingredients only need chopping or slicing, nothing too fancy.
Looking at the prepped ingredients, you know this will taste really good!
The basic recipe makes enough for about six servings. Julie and I had it on Monday for dinner, Wednesday for easy leftovers, and there was more leftover filling for a quick snack before leaving for other evening events.
I added some shredded Parmesan about half way through the final roasting step, it was a nice touch.
Bedrock Papera Ranch Zinfandel 2011 ($37)
Here are my notes:
Eye: Medium dark red with a tinge of blue on the edge. Barely translucent still, but dark in the center.
Nose: A little bit of earth, mostly red fruit. Very nice and fresh and not a bit pruny or raisiny.
Mouth: Nice and trim, no overt oak. Really lovely.
It is a very restrained, delicate Zin. It is not like any of the “funny name” Zins, and is even more delicate than a traditional Dry Creek Valley Zin. I had opened it the day before this dinner and thought it might be a good choice, as it didn’t beg to be paired with meat fresh off the grill.
How did it go with the stuffed squash? I would say it paired about as well as any red wine could have, however, the red fruits in the flavor didn’t really find a companion in the squash. Not bad in any way, and if I wanted to drink a red with this meal, the Papera Ranch was a good choice. A nice Pinot Noir (as suggested by the San Francisco Chronicle) would also have worked, but not to a level of receiving a “wow.”
Domaine Pouillon Savoir-Faire $27
40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Picpoul Blanc, 20% Marsanne
Here are my notes:
Eye: Barely any color, a little bit of warm yellow but just barely.
Nose: Grapefruit, nuts, no vanilla whatsoever. Fresh
Mouth: Crisp & freshly acidic, but a rich mouthfeel. Very nice.
The Savoir-Faire really paired nicely with the stuffed squash. It displayed refreshing acidity to cleanse the palate. The gentle nuttiness in the wine complemented the nuts in the filling. This was a winning combination of food and wine, a real “wow!”
Here’s another link to the recipe in SF Chronicle
Bedrock Wine Company has a waiting list; you may want to sign up now so you’ll have a chance to try them out in the near future. Morgan Twain-Peterson makes a wide variety of interesting wines, and they are reasonably priced for small production artisan products, typically between $24-$40.
Domaine Pouillon is a new find of our from our recent trip through Lyle, Washington to Walla Walla. No waiting required, you can join their mailing list and order wines via their website immediately. Again, they are reasonably priced small-lot artisan wines ranging between $18-$30.