Not too long ago I received a request from a fan on Facebook to put together a vegetarian menu for one of our Friday emails. With Thanksgiving bearing down on us I thought this would be a great opportunity to fulfill my promise to her.

While I love the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits that rolls out through the spring and summer months, the return of hearty, rich, stick to your ribs foods is something I look forward to each autumn. There has to be something redeeming about the fading daylight hours and return of cold weather, right? Well this is my silver lining, an antidote to the onset of the winter blues!

I’ve tried to retain a certain bit of tradition with my dishes, so I sought out a stuffed entrée, gotta have stuffing for Thanksgiving, and an accompanying side dish that brings us back to the culinary roots of our cuisine. Thus I present to you: Eggplant with Creole Wild Rice Stuffing served with baked squash, dosed with a lime dressing. This meal has it all, sweet, roasted notes, spice and heat, as well as the refreshing, cooling qualities of the lime.

What to expect: Roussanne

Roussanne is a grape that usually plays second fiddle. An important component in most white Rhone blends, it is valued for its bright acidic character. Roussanne has usually added cut and depth to these blends, acting as a counterpoint to Marsanne’s rich, fruit driven character. In warm climates, certain clones of Roussanne have proven to be great soloists. The typical modern winemaking routine, harvesting when physiologically ripe, barrel fermenting, and aging sur lees,that has had mixed results for some grapes, has worked to draw our Roussanne’s strengths: it’s unusual orchard fruit and nutty components, as well as it’s ability to develop remarkable aromatic complexity with age.