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Aged Cabernet Series Artisan Recipe - August 2012

The foodies from the Wine Lovers Page provided this month's Aged Cabernet Series recipe. The Turkish Eggplant Pilaf is an ideal accompaniment to this months’ Aged Cabernet Series wine club shipment featuring our first ever Vertical Tasting from Groth Vineyards! Turkish Eggplant Rice Pilaf
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Turkish Eggplant Pilaf

Ingredients:
•  1 large or 2 small eggplants
•  Salt
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  4 ounces (120 grams) long-grain rice
•  1/2 teaspoon sea salt
•  1 cup water
•  1/2 of a medium red onion
•  1 or 2 large garlic cloves
•  1 tablespoon olive oil
•  1 medium tomato (or 2 to 3 canned whole tomatoes, to make about 1 cup when diced)
•  1 cup water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup tomato juice or V-8 Juice)
•  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•  1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
•  Black pepper
•  Medium sprig of fresh mint

Preparation:
At least 90 minutes before dinner, cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes, leaving the skin on. Put them into a colander or strainer, sprinkle with plenty of salt, and set aside for about 30 minutes. Pat them dry, spread them on a greased cookie sheet, and mix them with 2 tablespoons olive oil, trying to get a little oil on every surface. Bake in a pre-heated 450F oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown. Scoop into a bowl and set aside.

Put the rice in a large cup and mix in 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the rice, stir, and let stand until the water is lukewarm. Drain, rinse with cool water, drain again and set aside. Peel and remove most seeds from the tomato (if you're using a fresh one) and cut it into dice. Chop the mint into fine shreds.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chopped red onion and garlic until it's translucent; reduce heat to medium, add the rice, and stir until it's dry and toasty. Add the tomatoes, stir, then add the eggplant, the cup of water or water-juice mix, and the cinnamon and allspice, plus sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Cover tightly, reduce heat to very low, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is all absorbed and the rice is cooked. It's OK to peek and stir on occasion, but it's best to leave pilaf covered as much as possible so the flavor-laden steam will stay in. When the dish is done, lift the lid, spread a dish towel over the contents, and put the lid back on. Let it stand off heat for 10 minutes or so.

Check seasoning, sprinkle with finely shredded fresh mint and serve.

Pair this recipe with this month's Aged Cabernet Series featuring:
• Groth Vyds. & Winery 2002 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
• Groth Vyds. & Winery 2003 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
• Groth Vyds. & Winery 2004 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 

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Click to view our past recipes:

October 2012

September 2012

July 2012

June 2012

Being able to give someone something that they will enjoy and get excited about every month is a gift that gives twice, for them and for me. Melissa Wilson, VA