Arugula Salad with Braised Artichoke Hearts (pair with Frey Organic Agriculturist Blanc
 
A unique and robust salad, ideal for taking us from spring to summer. The delicate bitterness of arugula is offset by the yumminess of the artichoke hearts, both working to relax our livers, keeping calm and cool. With the added nutrition of toasted hempseeds and oil, showcasing essential fatty acids, this is a salad to be reckoned with.
 
This crisp salad is perfect with the sweet honeysuckle notes in the Agriculturist Blanc which smooths the sharp flavor of the arugula.
 
Makes 4-5 servings
 
4 globe artichokes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons, plus 1/4 cup hempseed oil
2 heads garlic, halved lengthwise
sea salt
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley
4 cups spring or filtered water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch arugula, rinsed well, stems trimmed, hand-shredded
1 head frisee (curly endive), rinsed well, hand-shredded
1/2 cup shelled hempseeds
 
Prepare artichokes and set aside.
 
Place 2 tablespoons hempseed oil in a large saucepan. Lay garlic heads in the pan, cut side down and turn heat to medium. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt and add wine and vinegar. Cook until liquid has reduced by half. Tie together rosemary, basil and parsley and lay on top of simmering garlic. Add water and bring to a boil. Add artichokes, cover, turn off heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
 
When the liquid has cooled, remove 2 cups of the liquid and transfer to a saucepan. (Re-cover the artichokes). Cook liquid over high heat until it has reduced to about cup. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup hempseed oil, olive oil and sea salt to taste. Set aside.
 
To assemble the salad, arrange the greens in a mixing bowl. Remove the outer leaves from the artichokes and scoop out the inner hairy chokes. Slice the artichoke hearts thinly and add them to the greens. Toss with enough dressing just to coat the salad.  
 
Heat a dry skillet over low heat and lightly pan toast hempseeds just until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
 
Arrange salad on a platter, drizzle with a bit more dressing, a sprinkle of hempseeds and serve with remaining dressing and toasted hempseeds on the side.  
 
You Won’t Believe It’s Not Mashed Potatoes (pair with Frey Biodynamic Sauvignon Blanc)
 
The mashed potato side dish is a classic on any holiday table…but try this one…it is just as yummy and so much lighter on your hips.
 
The bright, clear flavor of Sauvignon Blanc brings this side dish to life.
 
Makes 5-6 servings
 
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/8 cup unsweetened soymilk or almond milk
3 tablespoons vegetarian butter spread (like Earth Balance)
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Small bunch fresh chives, finely minced
 
Place cauliflower in a steamer basket above a pot of boiling water. Cook, covered, until fork tender, about 12 minutes. Preheat oven to 325o and lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor or blender. Add soymilk, vegetarian butter spread, salt and pepper to taste and puree until smooth. Spoon into baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until bubbly. Fold in chives and serve hot.  
 
Apple Pie (pair with Frey Organic Gewurztraminer)
 
As All-American as holiday feasting itself, this recipe is all you could dream of in an apple pie without anything you might not want to eat!
 
The crisply sweet flavor of Gewurztraminer is the perfect complement to the spicy apple pie filling.
 
Makes 8-10 servings
 
2 recipes Pastry Dough: 
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup avocado oil
Cold water
 
Filling:
13-14 Granny Smith or Gala apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced into half-moons
9 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice syrup
Sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
 
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, cut oil into flour until the texture of wet sand is achieved. Slowly add cold water, mixing, until the dough just gathers together. Pull dough into a ball and knead 3-4 times to hold it together.
 
Shape into a disk and place between 2 sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Roll, from the center of the dough toward the edges until you create a thin round disk about an inch larger than your pie plate. Be sure the dough is evenly rolled in thickness.
 
Lightly oil a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Divide pastry dough into 2 pieces, one a little larger than the other. Roll each one between waxed or parchment paper into a thin round, the smaller one to be about 11 inches in diameter and the larger one to be about 12 inches in diameter. Press smaller round of pastry into pie plate, using your knuckles to conform the dough to the dish, but do not stretch the dough too much. Let excess hang over the rim. Prick several times with a fork and set aside.
 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling. You will be sautéing apples in 3 batches. Place 3 tablespoons of vegan butter substitute, a teaspoon of vanilla, 1/3 cup rice syrup and a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté until the apples wilt and the edges begin to brown about 7 minutes. Transfer cooked apples to a baking sheet to cool and repeat sautéing process with remaining apples and seasonings. Cool to room temperature.
 
Spoon cooled apples into pie plate, mounding them in the center. Lay the remaining pastry over the apples. Using a sharp knife, trim the excess pastry from the rim and gently pinch together the edges of the pastry to seal the crust. Using your thumb and forefinger, crimp the edge to create a decorative crust.
 
Make 3 to 4 slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven heat to 350o and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.
 
Sheila’s Lacy Wafers (pair with Frey Organic Zinfandel
 
My dear friend Sheila Davidson is famous for her exquisitely beautiful holiday cookies. A tin of her jewel-like treats is simply the best gift you can get. On occasion, she grants me the great privilege of working with her on a baking day. This great cookie is the result. You’ll love it and won’t reserve it for special occasions. It’ll be a regular.
 
There’s something about a Zinfandel and chocolate that make me thin of perfect pairings, like love and marriage. I love this combination.
 
Makes 30-40 Cookies
 
Cookies
¼ cup avocado oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
⅓ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup quick rolled oats
¼ cup very finely chopped almonds or walnut pieces
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
 
Chocolate Filling
1 cup non-dairy, dark chocolate chips
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
¼ cup unsweetened organic almond or soy milk
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
 
To make the cookies: Place the oil and rice syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until loose. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour until smooth. Fold in the oats, nuts and vanilla, mixing well.
 
Drop the batter, by one-fourth teaspoonful onto the lined baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Carefully peel cookies from the parchment paper and set aside to cool.
 
To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Bring the rice syrup and milk to a rolling boil over high heat. Pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until shiny and smooth.
 
Select pairs of similar-size cookies to make sandwiches. Spread the flat side of one cookie with the chocolate glaze and press its partner’s flat side to the chocolate, making a sandwich. Place on parchment paper to allow the chocolate to set.
 
Repeat with the remaining cookies and chocolate.
 
Christina Pirello is the Emmy Award-winning host of the television series Christina Cooks!, which airs weekly on over 200 national public television stations nationwide. She has written five cookbooks, the bestselling Cooking the Whole Foods Way, plus Your Way to the Life You Want, Glow, A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty and Christina Cooks: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Whole Foods, But Were Afraid to Ask. Her latest book, This Crazy Vegan Life was published in January, 2009 and she is currently at work on her sixth book. Visit Christina on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.