Fall marks the time of year when the fruit trees in the Jordan Winery Garden are loaded down with apples, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and even a late fig or two. We encourage our herbs to bolt and begin to work with seeds, roots and tubers. A favorite tuber of mine is the sunchoke vegetable, also known as the Jerusalem artichoke. This vegetarian recipe is the perfect first course for a cabernet sauvignon wine pairing dinner, enhanced by the grill, and anchored by dark fruit, tannin and the herbal notes of thyme and marjoram. It is good to note that the honey-fermented pomegranate seeds are best after making them one week ahead of time.



In a sterilized one pint Mason jar, combine pomegranate seeds with thyme, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Pour the honey over the seeds to cover. Twist the lid on to the Mason jar until finger tight and store in a cool dark place for the week, turning and tasting daily.

Soak the kamut berries overnight in water.

For the vinaigrette, prepare a hot grill. Cut Meyer lemons in half and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill cut side down until nicely caramelized (approximately 4-6 minutes). Remove from the grill and allow to cool. Juice the lemon halves and reserve. Maintain the hot grill for the sunchokes. In a non-reactive bowl, whisk together 4 Tbsp of lemon juice and all other ingredients but the oils. Cover the bowl and allow the shallots to macerate for one hour before proceeding.

Drain and rinse the kamut, then add to a heavy bottomed pot with spring water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer until cooked through (approximately 45-50 minutes), adding the salt and pepper halfway through cooking. Drain the kamut, toss with olive oil and adjust seasoning. Cool to room temperature and reserve.

Pierce sunchokes with a paring knife or fork to prevent them from bursting. Lightly oil the grill and place the sunchokes directly over the fire, turning equally and charring on all sides until the tubers are completely cooked through (approximately 15-20 minutes). When done, remove to a plate and allow to cool just enough to handle.

Meanwhile, complete the vinaigrette by slowly whisking in the oils to emulsify, adjust seasoning and reserve.

When the sunchokes are cool, slice and lightly squeeze to open them up (like a small baked russet potato). Immediately season with sel gris and a teaspoon of the vinaigrette. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and reserve warm while plating.

To serve, toss 6 tablespoons of kamut with ¼ cup of fermented pomegranate seeds, three torn blackberries and 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning and divide onto six plates. Garnish with herbs and flowers from the garden, one last teaspoon of vinaigrette and a few grains of sea salt.