Friday, January 25, 2008

Gotta Go-Go

All I ever wanted
Had to get away...

There are a few places that are universally considered to be the all time best winter vacation spots. In no particular order, these include; The Bahamas, Antigua, Riviera Maya, Florida, Barbados, and the islands of Hawaii.

Where are you going this winter? Has the economy impacted your budget? This weekend take a trip to Florida, via a bottle of muscadine wine.

Muscadines have been used for making commercial fine wines and port dating back to the 16th Century in and around St. Augustine, Florida. Today, vineyards throughout the Southeast produce muscadine wines of various qualities. The typical muscadine wine is sweet and is considered a dessert wine although some drier varieties exist. The term scuppernong refers to a large bronze type of muscadine originally grown in North Carolina; it is also used in making wine.

While not one of the most widely marketed varietals produced, the visibility of muscadine wine has benefited from the discovery that it appears to provide greater amounts of antioxidants than many better-known red wines. In particular, Muscadine wines (both red and white) contain over five times more resveratrol than ordinary red wines. I am not a fan of sweet wine but this recipe sounded good.

Roast Carrot Salad with Muscadine Vinaigrette

1 cup muscadine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds baby carrots, green tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups packed arugula or dandelion greens
2 bunches of watercress, large stems trimmed

Make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, boil the wine over moderate heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 9 minutes; let cool. Stir in the mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice, then whisk in the vegetable oil.

Make the salad: Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the carrots with the olive oil and spread them on a large, heavy baking sheet. Roast the carrots for about 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula or dandelion greens and watercress with half of the dressing. Mound the greens on the plate. Toss the carrots in the remaining dressing and arrange them on the greens.

Have a great weekend!