Wine Country Luncheon for Four

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Vegetable Frittata with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes & Gruyere; Crostini with Warm Goat Cheese, Pecans & Lavender; Spring Greens Salad with Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette 

With a little planning, this Napa Valley-inspired luncheon menu for four from Chef Susan Ytterberg of Golden Plum Professional Chef Services comes together in about an hour. It’s perfect for a languorous lunch or even a light dinner – for the full wine country experience, pair it with a Napa Valley rose̒ or Chardonnay.

For more inspiration, visit our Recipe Archives.

Game Plan

  • Prepare the frittata.
  • While it is in the oven, slice and butter the bread for the crostini; prepare the goat cheese and return it to the fridge.
  • When frittata comes out of the oven, turn the heat down to 350 and bake the crostini and the goat cheese for 10-11 minutes.
  • While the goat cheese and crostini are in the oven, prepare the salad.
  • Divide salad between four plates, add frittata wedge. When crostini and goat cheese are ready, divide between plates and serve.

Vegetable Frittata with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes & Gruyere

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup chopped onions

12 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed

8 large eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

½ tsp salt

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 375. In a small skillet, melt butter and sauté the onions until softened, then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, steam asparagus until bright green and slightly flexible, about 5 minutes depending on thickness. When cooled, cut 3” off the tips of 6 of the spears and set aside; chop the remaining asparagus.

Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk vigorously to mix.  Whisk in the heavy cream and salt, then stir in a ½ cup of the cherry tomato halves (save the remainder for garnish). Stir in the onions and the chopped asparagus (save larger pieces for garnish).

In a skillet large enough to hold the egg mixture, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Pour egg mixture into the pan, then reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for 3 minutes.

Sprinkle Gruyere over the frittata while still cooking — do not mix or stir in pan. Arrange the reserved asparagus tips in a circular pattern, and intersperse with the reserved cherry tomato halves (place seed side down). At this point the frittata will have been on the stove for 5 minutes.

Place pan in preheated oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until set in the center. Using a mitt or potholder, remove frittata from oven. Use a silicon spatula to slide frittata out of the pan and place onto a serving platter to cool. Slice into 4 large wedges and serve at room temperature.

Crostini with Warm Goat Cheese, Pecans & Lavender

12 slices of baguette, ¼” thick

4 tablespoons salted butter

1/3 cup pecans

2 tablespoons panko

1 teaspoon edible lavender (see note)

Pinch coarse salt

3-ounce log goat cheese, kept cold

Preheat oven to 350. Spread butter over entire surface of bread slices and arrange on a sheet pan. Bake until light gold, 11 to 12 minutes until light gold. Set aside.

Place pecans, panko, lavender and salt in food processor and pulse into fine crumbles.

Remove goat cheese from fridge and slice into 4 equal medallions.  Keeping the shape of the cheese, roll and press into the lavender/pecan mixture until coated. Place on a small baking dish and refrigerate.

15 minutes before dining, place goat cheese in preheated oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and plates with crostini.

Note: look for edible lavender in the spice aisle, or remove it from lavender teabags.

Spring Greens Salad with Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup peach balsamic vinegar (or other fruit-flavored balsamic)

½ tsp Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

5 ounces mixed salad greens

½ cup blueberries

12 strawberries, sliced

½ cup pecan halves

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup until creamy and blended.  Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix with dressing a little at a time until all ingredients are coated.

Serve immediately; any remaining dressing will keep in the fridge for weeks.

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