Garden Bounty Pt. 2 What do I do with all these herbs? 3 simple, fruit-based salads using basil, cilantro, mint

GARDEN BOUNTY PT. 2 WHAT THE HECK DO I DO WITH ALL THESE HERBS??


Continuing with our ‘Garden Bounty’ series, as we brainstormed ideas, one observation kept coming up. At this time of summer, all your fresh herbs are going crazy! You’ve been waiting all year for this to happen, but now it can be a little overwhelming as everything explodes at the same time.

There are ways to dry and preserve herbs, but here at Union Wine Co. we like to live a little more in the moment, so we thought it would be fun to feature a few fresh fruit, herb heavy salads that can be used for lunch, dinner or anywhere in-between. Much like the gazpacho post, there is no cooking involved in these—its just too darn hot right now to be suffering in a sweltering kitchen so with just a little prepping, you will have some great options to serve your guests all summer long. Each recipe will feed 6-8 people.

So without further ado…

Peach, Cucumber and Basil Salad

Most people are big fans of Caprese salad (Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil) which is delicious, but by the middle of summer, it’s nice to have some other options for your extra basil.

TECHNIQUE:

Peel and seed 1 large cucumber. Slice into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Cut 5 ripe (but not overripe) peaches into bite sized squares. Arrange on a platter, drizzle with red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little cracked black pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Right before serving, tear some basil leaves with your fingers (this will prevent bruising if your knife is on the dull side) and layer over the top.

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Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

This unconventional combination will never fail to get compliments-—we promise!

TECHNIQUE

Peel and cube one half of a large seedless watermelon. Arrange on a platter and keep cold until ready to serve. Just before it hits the table crumble some high quality feta cheese over the top, layer with small mint leaves and sprinkle with the juice of half of a lime, a little olive oil  and a little cracked black pepper.

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Pineapple, Jicama and Cilantro Salad

Jicama is a lesser know ingredient this far North, but its crunch make a great addition to this salad. At this time of year,  most people’s cilantro is quickly going to seed, so it is most imperative to use it up before its all gone.

TECHNIQUE

Peel and cube one large ripe pineapple, discarding core. Peel and slice half of a large jicama. Cut 1/4 inch thick slices, and then cut those into bite size triangles. Sprinkle with half of a lime, a little olive oil and just a pinch of salt and pepper. Just before serving, mix in a good amount of fresh cilantro.

We hope these recipes with broaden your horizons and help impress your dinner guests all season long.

Bon Appétit!

Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Garden Bounty Pt. 1 A Trio of Gazpachos

Union Wine Co Gazpachos
Now that summer is in full swing, gardeners all over the country are seeing their hard work and dedication beginning to finally bear fruit…and vegetables and herbs. And once the bounty begins, it can really produce a lot of produce very quickly…if ya know what i mean. Even if you aren’t a gardener, your local farmers markets are also beginning to explode with beautiful, colorful fruit and veggies.

So, we decided to run a series of posts about fun, easy recipes that will help put all that great freshly grown produce to good use. For us, Gazpacho is one of the simplest but most pure ways to really celebrate the freshness of the season. There is absolutely no cooking required. Just a little prepping and then a whole lot of blending.

Most people are familiar with the classic Andalusian tomato gazpacho, but there are several other recipes that are just as delicious. With any gazpacho, there is a lot of room for interpretation, so we welcome you to follow our recipes, but we urge you to try your own tweaks or additions. Also, there is a wide variation on the texture of gazpacho. We personally like a chunky gazpacho, as you will see in the following photos, but if you prefer a smoother texture, it’s as simple as just blending longer.

So without further ado, we present a trio of gazpachos*: Tomato, Cucumber and Watermelon.

Tomato Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

*Note: All three recipes make roughly 1 quart of gazpacho each, which will feed 2 to 4 people.

Recipe:

4-5 medium heirloom tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 large cucumber
3 roasted red piquillo peppers
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
a small piece of baguette (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Technique:

Peel half the cucumber and remove the seeds. Chop all vegetables into manageable-sized pieces and place in a baking dish. Pour the olive oil and sherry vinegar over the veggies. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and let sit for 10 minutes. If you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. Blend to desired consistency and refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs, such as cilantro or basil.  Enjoy with a can of Underwood Pinot Noir.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Cucumber Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Recipe:

2 large cucumbers
1/2 large yellow bell pepper
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 C plain whole milk yogurt
1 small bunch of mint
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt & pepper to taste

Technique:

Peel half of each cucumber. (This will allow for a little texture with the skin, but not too much.) Cut the cucumbers down the middle and remove all seeds. Chop all veggies into manageable-sized pieces. As stated above, if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. It is okay to add the lime juice and yogurt at the same time as the veggies. Season with salt and pepper and blend to your desired texture. Keep refrigerated. When ready to serve, garnish with some finely diced cucumber and a mint sprig. Enjoy with an ice cold can of Underwood Pinot Gris.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Watermelon Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Recipe:

1/2 large seedless watermelon (roughly 3 Cups)
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 large red heirloom tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Technique:

Peel watermelon and chop into cubes. Peel and seed cucumber. Chop up the tomato and pepper. As stated above, if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. Blend to desired texture and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish with a few pieces of watermelon and some chopped fresh mint and enjoy with an ice cold
Underwood Rosé.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

So, as you can see, there are many different styles of gazpacho to enjoy. All can be made several days in advance. And again, feel free to tweak the ingredients, texture and garnishes to fit your personal taste.

Bon Appétit!

Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Tillamook Frozen Custard & Underwood Strawberry Cooler Syrup

A Perfect Pairing:
Tillamook Frozen Custard & Underwood Strawberry Cooler Syrup 

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Sauce

Strawberry season goes by way too quickly, but we aren’t quite ready to say goodbye just yet!

We have recently discovered (and fallen in love with) some of our local Tillamook Creamery’s Special Batch ice cream, gelato and custards. We thought it would be interesting to pair strawberries with their Sea Salt & Honeycomb Toffee Custard, and it worked amazingly. To sweeten the deal we created a simple, yet very complex tasting, Strawberry Cooler Syrup, which really highlights the salty crunchy bits of toffee in the creamy custard.

The syrup is simple to make and will stay good for weeks in the refrigerator.

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Syrup

Underwood Strawberry Cooler
3 ripe strawberries
3 sprigs of mint
1/4 teaspoon of black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons of sugar (optional)

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Sauce

STEP ONE:
Pour a can of the Cooler into a wide, heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. If adding the sugar, do so at this time. Stir until the sugar is dissolved so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

STEP TWO:
Immediately reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Sauce

STEP THREE:
After 15 minutes, place the strawberries (stems removed), mint and peppercorns into the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

STEP FOUR:
Strain liquid immediately into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Once cooled, scoop out some custard (or your favorite Tillamook ice cream flavor), add a few strawberries and a healthy drizzle of the syrup.

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Sauce

Bon Appétit!

Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Frosé at Home

We were very excited to be the wine sponsor for this year’s Waterfront Blues Fest in Portland. Besides providing our wines for the event we wanted to do something extra special that would elevate the 4-day experience. Since Blues Fest days are usually nice and hot, we created a Frosé drink using slushy machines and it turned out to be a tasty—and popular—cold wine option. So popular in fact that a few people asked for the recipe!

Underwood rosé frosé

Since we all can’t have a commercial grade slushy machine in our homes we came up with a smaller scale version that you can enjoy at home. All you need is a little time and a blender.

Pour 1 full bottle of Underwood Rosé into a baking dish. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight). While waiting for the wine to freeze, make a simple syrup by boiling ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Do this early enough so it has time to cool.

Underwood rosé frosé

Once the rosé has been in the freezer for a number of hours, it should be slushy but not completely frozen. Take it out, pour it into a blender with a handful of ice and 4 oz of simple syrup. Blend until completely combined and place the blender in the freezer for another 1-2 hours.

Underwood Frosé

Pour into your favorite Mazama Wares glass and enjoy on a nice day.
Frosé will stay good in the freezer for a couple of days.

Underwood rosé frosé

Redefining The Radler

Riesling Radler Granita with Grilled Pineapple

Underwood Riesling Radler

During these hot summer months there is very little as refreshing as an ice cold Underwood Riesling Radler. It’s light, citrus flavored, white wine makes for a solid afternoon beverage. But that got us thinking about how else we could bring the flavor of one of our favorite cans to life.

Enter the Granita. An Italian flavored ice dessert, it is similar to a sorbet but instead of needing an ice cream maker, Granita can be made simply with a pan and a fork for mixing. Often served as an intermezzo, Granita also makes a delicious and refreshing dessert. We decided to pair our Radler Granita with grilled pineapple as both can be done in advance when entertaining. This recipe will serve 4-6 people.

Underwood Riesling Radler

STEP ONE:

Preheat your grill.
Peel your fresh pineapple and slice into rounds that are roughly 1/2 an inch thick.
Lightly brush slices with canola oil and grill on both sides for about 5 minutes per side.*
Let slices cool and then keep in a container in the fridge until ready to serve.

(*To achieve the “crosshatching” grilled effect, simply turn the slice 45 degrees halfway through the grilling process.)

Underwood Riesling Radler

STEP TWO:

In a medium sized metal or ceramic dish, pour:

1 can of Underwood Riesling Radler
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup

Place dish in the freezer. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
When the timer goes off, stir the liquid gently with a fork to begin incorporating the frozen bits into the liquid. This is done to create a shaved ice texture, and not have the liquid freeze into a solid sheet.

Continue this process, remembering to set your timer and stirring every twenty minutes or so. After about an hour, you will see the liquid becoming quite slushy.

Underwood Riesling Radler

Continue this process until the Granita is completely frozen and there is no more liquid in the pan.
At this point, you can transfer the Granita to a quart container. This will save room in your freezer and also make scooping it out easier.

Underwood Riesling Radler

Underwood Riesling Radler

STEP THREE:

When it is time to serve, place a slice of the grilled pineapple on a plate. Using a 2 oz ice cream scoop, dip the scoop into some warm water, pack the Granita tightly into the scoop and place in the center of the slice.

Serve with an ice cold can of Radler. Bon Appétit!

Underwood Riesling Radler

Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)