One of this weekend's Chef's Specials is inspired by Pete Dulin's recent trip down the mighty Mississippi River on a riverboat cruise from St. Louis to New Orleans. Red beans and rice, a staple dish in New Orleans, are traditionally prepared on Mondays. The dish can be easily prepared in a pot while tending to other tasks.
Adding a twist to the dish, farro is substituted for rice. Farro is an ancient grain with a nutty taste and slightly chewy texture. It's also high in fiber and dense with nutrients like Vitamin B3 and zinc. Farros is versatile in salads, trendy grain bowls, and with yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Keeping matters simple and rustic, farro is paired with red beans for its similarity to rice while adding a hearty texture and taste.
Red beans and farro are cooked similar to red beans and rice with some Louisiana sass and spice. Served at room temperature, the dish includes a sauté of hot sauce-laced bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, zucchini, and greens to add color and farm-fresh summer flavor.
Try red beans, farro, and summer vegetables with Firepit Red, Loft Red, or even Vignoles for a touch of sweetness to balance the mild spice.
Prefer sweet to savory? Summer fruit makes tasty compote or jam. This weekend, try some flaky puff pastry ladled with blueberry, blackberry, and lemon basil compote with a glass of Sweet Enchantment or Sejour sparkling rosé. You might also opt for puff pastry with ginger peach jam and a glass of Vidal Blanc or Captivation, a dry sparkling white with peach and floral notes.
Let us know what combination of wine and food you enjoyed best! Available while supplies last.
Creative director Pete Dulin documents wine, food and operations at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery through writing and photography.