You'll find it in the kitchens of famous foodies like Chrissy Teigen, "Washington Wine + Food" is a cookbook celebrating two things synonymous with our state, great chefs and great winemakers.
"The stories of the winemakers and the chefs pair really well together," said author Julien Perry. "Ultimately they are each take the abundant produce we have in this state and creating something they're proud of, that tastes really good and that ultimately they just want people to enjoy."
Washington Wine + Food is a follow-up to Perry's 2018 cookbook, "Seattle Cooks." In this book, Perry profiles 40 of the states top winemakers and pairs their wines with recipes from Seattle's best chefs.
"I know a lot of people are intimidated by wine because they don't know how to order it, they don't really know what the different varieties are and how it's made. That's totally okay. I don't know all that stuff either," explained Perry with a laugh. "This book is not for wine nerds. It is more than anything just to introduce people to wines and wineries in our state that maybe they're not familiar with. And also just to have a nice handy guide if you want to take a road trip."
Pairing wine and food is something of an art form. If you think trained chefs have an easier time with it than say you or I would, well in many cases you'd be wrong.
"I don't think all the chefs understand how difficult that process is," said Perry. "Quite honestly, the big cabernets from Washington pair really well with red meat, but this couldn't be a red meat cookbook. We had to have a little bit of everything, salads, soups, we have a couple deserts in there...I think a lot of people assume chefs are great, they've got this great palate and they can prepare menus in their sleep, but pairing dishes with wine is not something every chef automatically knows how to do."
If you've got questions about which wine pairs with a dish, Perry's advice is to ask someone at your favorite local winery or wine shop. The pairings in Washington Wine + Food are meant to be suggestions, albeit extremely thoughtful ones. For instance, salt and pepper chocolate cookies are paired with Moth Love, a delicious, juicy red blend from AniChe Cellars in the Columbia River Gorge. While the recipes themselves are approachable, designed for home cooks, which is a good thing, especially when it's me in the kitchen. Check out the video above to see me try my hand at a grilled broccoli recipe from chef Zoi Antonitsas, paired with a seriously drinkable Grenache from DAMA Wines, or try the recipe (below) for yourself!
Broccoli with Walnuts, Dried Cherry and Cocoa Nib Gremolata, and Feta
Chef: Zoi Antonitsas
Wine pairing: DAMA Grenache
Serves 2 to 4
This complex and luscious Grenache has notes of cherry, pepper, smoky fruit, tobacco, cedar, and milk chocolate, echoing some of the flavors of this dish. Medium-bodied and silky textured, its character is polished and richly defined.
Dried cherry and cocoa nib gremolata (Ingredients):
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
- 1 Tbsp chopped marjoram or oregano
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of chili flakes
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp liquid aminos (preferably Bragg) or tamari
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera)
- 1 (2-lb) head broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
Dried cherry and cocoa nib gremolata (Instructions):
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside.
- Preheat grill to high heat. (Alternatively, build a fire in your grill and leave a third of the grill coal-free.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together aminos (or tamari), citrus juices, oil, and paprika. Add broccoli and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Place a grill basket on the grill. Add broccoli and grill for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing frequently, until florets are crisp and edges are charred. If you don’t have a grill basket, lay florets out on the grill in a single layer and using tongs, turn them often.
- Transfer broccoli to a serving platter. Top with walnuts, gremolata, and feta. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Washington Wine + Food: The Cookbook by Julien Perry. Photographs by Charity Burggraaf. Copyright 2020 by Julien Perry. Texts and recipes copyright 2020 by individual contributors. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.