“What’s so special about Washington wine and food? It’s the ingredients grown here,” says Julien Perry, author of the new compilation cookbook, “Washington Wine and Food,” releasing from Figure 1 Publishing on Tuesday, June 30. “There’s such a common thread between Washington chefs and winemakers. They all want to take this product grown here and create something beautiful and delicious, and they want people to love it. It comes down to the ingredients that we have here that aren’t anywhere else.”
A tenured food and lifestyle writer, collecting the featured recipes and chefs was a cinch for Perry. The book — which features 40 winemakers with 80 recipes from Seattle-area chefs — is a follow-up to “Seattle Cooks,” Perry’s first book with Figure 1 that came out in 2018, featuring many of the same chefs. “Washington Wine and Food” also profiles a talented set of local oenophiles, describes the passion behind each project and illustrates the unique character of the state’s grape-growing regions.
“I must have reached out to 100 wineries, they didn’t know who I was or really understand the project,” Perry says of how the project started, later reaching out to wine industry colleagues to narrow down and connect with the right producers for her concept. “I wanted to have a nice mix of wineries from the different regions, I didn’t want to have all Walla Walla wineries but nothing from Chelan or the Gorge. I gravitated toward the winemakers that were enthusiastic about the project, who could appreciate being a part of something like this.”
Perry says she’s grateful for being able to tell so many stellar stories, one of her favorites being that of Frichette Winery in which Greg and Shae Frichette flipped a coin to make the decision to move from Southern California to Washington wine country and start fermenting.
“I love when winemakers decide to leave their old lives behind and make wine,” she adds. “It’s an inspiring story and makes you less afraid to jump into something with both feet.”
“With grilled peaches, creamy ricotta and savory prosciutto, this salad is all about enjoying the seasons with a combination of winning flavors,” Perry writes in the book. “Chef Jason Wilson pairs this with Va Piano’s Sauvignon Blanc — its crisp minerality highlights the caramelized sweetness of grilled peaches and provides a clean contrast to the ricotta and Marcona almonds.”
Grilled Peach Salad with Ricotta and Prosciutto
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons Va Piano Sauvignon Blanc
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt (divided), plus extra for finishing
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped Fresno chile
4 peaches, skin on, pitted, and cut into large wedges
2/3 cup ricotta
Bunch of scallions, trimmed and tops separated from whites
2 cups arugula
10 leaves mint, torn
5 leaves basil, torn
8 thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons Marcona almonds
In a bowl, combine honey, wine, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and chile. Add peaches, mix well and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta and 1 tablespoon oil. Set aside.
Preheat grill to high heat. Grill peaches for 30-60 seconds on each side, until dark grill marks develop on the flesh side and light color can be seen on the skin. Reserve marinade for later. Transfer peaches to four plates.
Grill scallion tops and whites for 3-4 minutes on each side, until they have dark grill marks. (We want different textures and char marks.) Transfer scallions to a cutting board and chop them into large chunks.
To the reserved peach marinade, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and scallions.
On a serving platter or individual plates, arrange arugula, peaches, ricotta mixture, herbs, prosciutto, and almonds. Drizzle scallion vinaigrette on top and season with salt.
Excerpted from “Washington Wine + Food: The Cookbook” by Julien Perry. 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.