For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Foris Vineyard Dry Gewürztraminer, Rogue Valley (sample facilitated by Preston-Layne & Partners); SRP for the 2019 vintage is $15). With its sweet floral and citrus aromatics, a luscious and spicy palate reminiscent of Asian pears and ginger, it begs for for food, especially spicy Chinese cuisine and rich Thanksgiving fare. Before I had major dietary restrictions, I used to serve it with with Kung Pao chicken, my favorite Chinese dish. The Gewürztraminer and chicken’s warmly piquant brown sauce was a sublime tasting experience.
Because I can no longer enjoy the aforementioned meal, I contacted my wine industry mentor, friend, and fantastic cook, Van Potts, for alternate pairing recommendations. He shared the following recipes, both wonderful vegan main courses or side dishes for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Julienned Carrot Salad with Cumin Salt
1 pound carrots
1 clove garlic, peeled
Large pinch of cumin salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Peel the carrots and julienne—quick work with a Japanese mandoline. Mash the garlic clove with the cumin salt to a smooth paste, and mix it with the red wine vinegar. Whisk in olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar or salt, if needed. Toss with the carrots and add the chopped parsley. Variation: Add cayenne and chopped cilantro to taste.
1 lb of spinach, washed. No need to chop it, but if you feel like you want to, go for it.
25 g or 4 to 5 cloves of garlic run through a microplane (again, leave it out if you can’t eat it)
15 g of fresh turmeric root run through a microplane. If you want to use turmeric powder, you can, 1.5 teaspoons
15 g of fresh ginger run through a microplane (you can use more if you want)
1 tsp of coriander powder
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of Madrass curry
2 tsp of cooking oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
2 cups of fresh water
Thai or red chilies to taste for “kick”
Powder pinch of hing
1 tsp of coconut palm sugar (you could use honey, too.)
1 tsp of Garam Masala
In a soup pot, add all of your spices (garlic, turmeric, ginger, all the powders) and add the oil. Heat and fry the spices. Continue frying until the mix begins to become fragrant, then add the spinach or whatever greens you want and the water and cover. Let this cook for at least an hour on medium low heat. Cook off the water until the level of thickness you want is achieved. You do not want soup and you do not want it so thick a fork will stand up in it. Nice and thick but will spread out in a bowl is just right. That is it, and you can play with it and add and subtract to it as you see fit.