Pairing with Ancient Peaks: Vegetable & Lamb Gratin
with Cabernet Sauvignon
- 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1lb ground lamb or beef (omit for vegetarian)
- 1 lb zucchini, sliced into medallions
- 1 lb summer squash
- 1.5 lbs tomatoes of your choice
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 medium shallots
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 large slice white bread
- 2 oz parmesan cheese (shredded), about 1 cup for grated
- Toss zucchini and squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander, over a bowl. Let sit for 45 minutes.
- Place tomato slices in single later on a double layer paper towel and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tsp salt; let sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 – 25 minutes, until onions are softened and dark golden brown.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add ground lamb or beef and cook until pink is gone.
- Combine garlic, 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp pepper, and thyme in a small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and squash in half of oil mixture and arrange in a greased baking dish.
- Add an even layer of cooked meat over vegetables. Add caramelized onions in even layer over meat. Then, slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer. Spoon remaining oil mixture evenly over tomatoes.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges.
- Meanwhile, process bread in food processor. Combine bread crumbs, remaining teaspoon oil, parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl.
- Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
- Top with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Summer Vegetable Grain recipe found in America’s Test Kitchen Mediterranean Recipe book.
Pairing Food with Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the easiest wines to pair food with given it’s oaky nature and boldness. Just because most food pairings for Cabernet include meat, doesn’t mean you have to! There are perfectly hearty vegetables and legumes that can bring the same mouthfeel as meat.When cooking foods with fatty proteins, such as lamb or beef, you want to choose wines that have high levels of tannin and acidity, which will cut through the fatty coating left behind by your meal. Why? This coating does exactly that – coats your mouth to where you don’t taste the same level of flavor as the first bite. This is especially exciting when you choose to taste a meat with richer flavor than steak — like lamb!
About the Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon
At our estate Margarita Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon is the longtime flagship wine and achieves both ripeness and balance amid one of the region’s coolest, longest growing seasons, all while drawing natural complexity from the vineyard’s uniquely complex soils.
This wine comes from four distinct Cabernet Sauvignon blocks at Margarita Vineyard. Blocks 11, 13 and 15 all unfold along highly calcareous soils composed of ancient sea bed, which imparts a sense of stony minerality to the fruit. Block 11 is marked by notes of red fruits and dried herbs, while blocks 13 and 15 offer blue fruit flavors with impressive density. Block 49 is rooted in a combination of sea bed and shale soils, and yields a classic Cabernet profile with red and black fruits. The individual qualities of these blocks combine to bring dimension and nuance to the final blend. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.