New recipes from Simi Winery's Kitchen

Chef Kolin Vazzoler’s kitchen at Simi Winery in Healdsburg has three new recipes and wine pairings to try at home. Photo: Simi Winery/Constellation Brands

HEALDSBURG, Calif., July 6, 2013 — Simi Winery was recently profiled here for the dinner they participated in at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania.

On the heels of that article, the folks at Simi passed along three new recipes from their winery’s kitchen for you to attempt at home. Naturally, the recipes come with a suggested wine pairing for optimal dining pleasure.

Roasted Mushroom, Lemon and Basil Pizza

(Makes six pizzas)

Pairs with: Simi Sauvignon Blanc


   1/2 pound crimini mushrooms

   1/2 pound oyster mushrooms

   1/2 pound shitake mushrooms

   2 garlic cloves, minced

   4 Tablespoons parsley, minced


   Rinse the crimini mushrooms if needed. Slice thin. De-stem the oyster mushrooms and slice into thin strips. De-stem shitake mushrooms. Slice thin as well. Start with a hot pan and add a little olive oil and add crimini mushrooms. Cook until tender. Season with salt.

   Remove to a colander to drain off liquid into a container. Repeat process with all other mushrooms. Once all mushrooms are cooked add reserved liquid from mushrooms and add garlic. Start to simmer for approx. 5 mins. Then add mushrooms and reduce liquid until dry.


   1 Lemon


   Slice lemon in half and remove the seeds. Slice very thin trying to keep circle intact. Store in salted water untll needed.


   1-28oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes with juice




   Mix ingredients and pass through food mill.


   1000g “00” pizza flour

   650g lukewarm water

   100g starter

   20g salt


   250g “00” pizza flour

   170g water 80 degrees

   0.2g instant dry yeast

Direction for starter

   The evening before making the dough, mix yeast with flour and add water. Mix thoroughly and let sit overnight.

Directions for pizza dough

   Put flour in a KitchenAid with dough hook, add flour and water and knead for 12 minutes. Let yeast sit for 20 minutes. Add starter and salt. Knead for 8 minutes. Take dough out of KitchenAid and place into a bowl with a little olive oil to keep from sticking.

   Cover and let rest and proof for 2 hours. Punch down and roll into 300 gram balls. Place balls on a flour-dusted sheet tray and cover. Let rest for another two hours.


   1 pizza ball

   1/2 pieces buffalo mozzarella

   Grated parmesan

   1/2 clove garlic, sliced thin

   3 oz roasted mushrooms

   6 slices of lemon

   Olive oil


   2 oz tomato sauce

   Place a pizza stone on the bottom oven rack. Preheat to 500 degrees. Roll out one pizza ball and place onto a pizza peel dusted with flour to help keep it from sticking. Distribute tomato sauce over pizza dough. Sprinkle sliced garlic around pizza. Evenly distribute some mozzarella and grated parmesan. Arrange mushrooms and lemon slices evenly around top. Place into the preheated oven.

    Once the crust is golden brown, remove from the oven. Drizzle olive oil around top. Rip pieces of basil and distribute. Cut into wedges. Repeat with the remaining pizza doughs.

Porcini Risotto

Pairs with: Simi Pinot Noir


   1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice

   1 qt vegetable stock

   1/2 cup Simi pinot noir wine

   1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

   1/2 cup olive oil

   1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

   1/2 cup butter

   Porcinis, cut into 1/4” dice

   Whole porcinis

   Pickled Porcini – recipe below

   Prosciutto, sliced thin and julienned

   Kosher salt, to taste


   Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan; then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

   In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent. Add the rice to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don’t let the rice turn brown.

   Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

   It’s important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you’ll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.

   While risotto is cooking, sauté diced porcinis in butter till tender and season. Add to cooking risotto.

   When rice is finished, stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with Kosher salt. It should have a saucy consistency.

   Slice some pickled porcinis and distribute on top as while as slice paper thin slices of fresh porcini and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top.


   1/2 pound cleaned porcini, cut in half

   300 ml water

   100 ml rice wine vinegar

   50 grams salt

   20 grams sugar

   1 Tablespoon black peppercorns

   2 cloves garlic, crushed

   1 sprig thyme

   1 Tablespoon mustard seed

   2 teaspoons coriander seed


   Bring all ingredients except porcinis to a boil. Add porcinis and blanch for 1 minute. Turn off heat and let cool in liquid. Can be keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Peach Caprese

Pairs with: Simi Chardonnay


   1 bunch basil, chopped

   1/2 cup marcona almonds, chopped

   1 cup bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls)

   2 cups ripe peaches, sliced

   2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

   1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

   1/2 teaspoon Fleur de Sel


Combine all. Dress with olive oil, white balsamic and sea salt.

Bon Appétit and Cheers!

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Bryan Kolesar

Bryan Kolesar has been tracking down great beer for over twenty years. From the most hard-to-find delicately balanced low alcohol beer to the big monsters weighing in at over 10% ABV, he has yet to find a style that does not have a story to tell and a taste to share. Though, when pushed, Kolesar has historically staked a claim to the Saison style as one of the most versatile and his favorite.

In 2005, Bryan co-founded The Brew Lounge blog/website as a canvas to illustrate the best of the craft brewing industry and to document his own travels within it. Though he has lived in Philadelphia and is currently headquartered in the city's western suburbs, Kolesar shares a wealth of information and images that he collects from his travels around the world and some of the best beers that he has tasted along the way.

In 2010, Kolesar came aboard the Communities section of The Washington Times to contribute stories from across the craft brewing industry as it continues more than ever its explosive growth amongst increasingly more of the mainstream alcohol-consuming public. 

While the beer - its tastes, aromas, and incredible pairing opportunities with food - is often the beginning of a story, he often finds it more interesting to dive into the stories behind the people, places, and events associated with the final product. 

Locally around Philadelphia, he has been named a Beer Writer of the Year finalist multiple times, hosted beer/running events during each annual Philly Beer Week, served as a Philly Beer Geek judge, paneled local beers for submission into the Great American Beer Festival competition, judged beer and food competitions, been featured in local publications chronicling the beer scene, and been named the "Best Beer Guy" of 2008. 

In addition to his beer-y pursuits, Kolesar works a professional career in the business world by day and dabbles in distance running, cooking, homebrewing, gardening, photography, and is a staunch advocate for animal rescue/adoption. He lives with his wife, Patty, of fifteen years and has been a long time, mostly suffering, supporter of local Philadelphia sports.

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