THIRTY BENCH RIESLING

024133    750 mL  (XD) $19.95

Description 
From the Beamsville Bench - one of Niagara's best spots for growing Riesling - comes this classic featuring ripe peach, pear and lemon flavours, refreshing acidity and a hint of spice. Makes any meal special, from simple ham and brie sandwiches to foie gras.

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SEARED SCALLOPS WITH MEYER LEMON PESTO

By: Lucy Waverman

Meyer lemons come from California. They are thinskinned and have a sweeter and less tart flavour then regular lemons. Eating their peel is expected. If Meyer lemons are not available, use a tangerine or mandarin and a squeeze of lemon juice, about 1 tbsp (15 mL). The largest scallops, about 8 to a pound (500 g), are the best for this dish.

Meyer Lemon Pesto

1 Meyer lemon, seeded and cut into pieces
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh basil
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Scallops

2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
8 large scallops

1. Place Meyer lemon in a food processor or mini-chop. Add basil, mint and garlic and process until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and cheese and process until a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear about 2 minutes a side or until nicely glazed on outside and opaque within. Remove to plate. 

3. Spoon Quinoa Risotto with Artichokes (recipe follows) into serving bowls and top with 2 scallops each. Dab scallops with pesto. Sprinkle more pesto around the plate (or bowl).

Serves 4

Quinoa Risotto with Artichokes

Quinoa is slowly becoming more popular. It is not technically a grain, although it is often called an “ancient grain.” It grows on leafy stalks rather like amaranth. The seeds are white, red or black depending on the variety. When the seeds are cooked they are soft and have a little tail or germ that naturally wraps itself around the seed to give a crunch. Quinoa has a mild nutty flavour and is high in healthy amino acids. You must wash quinoa before using as it has a bitter resin surrounding the seed. Even prewashed quinoa needs a quick rinse. Baby artichokes are a luscious treat.

8 baby artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
1 cup (250 mL) washed quinoa
½ cup (125 mL) white wine
3 cups (750 mL) hot vegetable stock,
chicken stock or water
¼ cup (50 mL) whipping cream
¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) white truffle oil, optional

1. Remove leaves of artichokes until you get to the softer, greeny-yellow leaves. Cut top third off artichoke. Cut artichoke in half and remove any fuzz. Rub with lemon juice to prevent discolouration.

2. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add artichokes and sauté until browned and slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add onions and garlic and sauté for
2 minutes or until softened. Add quinoa and continue to sauté for 3 minutes, or until toasty. 

3. Deglaze pan with wine and cook until the liquid is evaporated. Add stock, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring often, until quinoa is still a bit firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cream and Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

4. Serve hot with a small drizzle of white truffle oil.

Serves 4

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