Prepare a Fall Farm to Table Dinner with Wine Pairings

Farmers markets may appear to open shop on every street corner in the summer, but that doesn’t mean fresh produce and local ingredients hibernate come cooler temperatures and change of seasons. We teamed up with Chef Justin Wangler at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden to bring you a fall-inspired farm-to-table dinner complete with squash, roasted veggies, plaid decor, and wine pairings. Most of the meal’s ingredients can be found from local or organic purveyors regardless of where you are in the country, helping you create a hearty dinner that is both cozy and sustainable.


In order to create an intimate setting for guests, we embraced fall texture and color. We mixed and matched navy, grey, and forest green wool pillows and throws, and topped it off with twinkle lights and candles.

blanket, Target
marble board, Williams-Sonoma
cheese board, Crate and Barrel
pillow, Schoolhouse Electric
throw, Pendleton
throw, Target


Farmer T’s Mixed Baby Lettuce Salad with Apples

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

Chef’s Notes: Apples to Apples. This Chardonnay showcases beautiful orchard fruit notes, a perfect balance to the apples found in this salad.


1 lb. Farmer T’s mixed baby lettuces, rinsed and dried
2 apples, quartered and sliced
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, toasted

Toss the lettuce, apples and sunflower seeds with enough dressing to moisten and season to taste. Serve immediately.

For the Vinaigrette:

½ cup Kendall-Jackson White Verjus (substitute with any White Verjus as needed)
1½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1½ tsp. white wine vinegar
1¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
White pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp. chervil, chopped (substitute with parsley as needed)
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped

In a bowl, whisk together verjus, mustard, vinegar and sugar. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in fresh herbs. Makes 1½ cups. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.


Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Seared Trumpet Royale Mushrooms

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon or Grand Reserve Merlot

Chef’s Notes: Who doesn’t like a big steak with a big wine? The tannins from the wine will create balance with the meat–one won’t overpower the other.


1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
2 ounces olive oil
½ bunch thyme
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 (2 lb.) flat iron steaks, halved & connective tissue removed
Freshly ground black pepper

In a plastic re-sealable bag, add peppercorns, olive oil, thyme, garlic, shallot and flat iron steaks. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove steaks from refrigerator and wipe off marinade. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat grill to high heat.

Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. Place steaks on grill for 1-2 minutes depending on thickness of steaks, flip steaks over and cook for 1-2 minutes, flip and rotate 90⁰ and cook 1-2 minutes, flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more or until done.

Remove flat irons from grill, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steaks, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.


For the seared Trumpet Royale mushrooms:
8 Trumpet Royale mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ bunch thyme
1 tsp. sherry vinegar

Trim the bottoms off the mushrooms and cut mushrooms in half. With a sharp knife, lightly score the mushrooms (3 shallow slices, cross-hatched).

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Lightly season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.  Place in pan, scored-side down and cook until golden brown. Flip mushrooms and add garlic and thyme.  Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and tender. Remove from heat and add sherry vinegar. Note: While this recipe calls for Trumpet Royal mushrooms, Portobello, Porcini or shiitake mushrooms make good substitutions.


Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate Molasses & Pomegranate Seeds

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir

Chef’s Notes: This California Pinot Noir showcases flavors of wild raspberries and juicy strawberries. Think red, as in the red fruit notes of the wine elevate the sweet & bright pomegranate seeds and molasses.


2 lbs. acorn squash, seeded & cut into 16 wedges
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 pomegranate, seeded

Preheat oven to 400ᵒF. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the squash with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and lightly with pepper.

Carefully, pour the squash onto the hot baking sheet. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until well caramelized.

Remove from oven and place squash on a serving platter. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Bacon

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson AVANT Red Blend

Pairing Tips: This Red Wine Blend is dominated by Merlot and Syrah, resulting in a rich, silky and smooth flavor that balances the smoky nuances of the bacon and Brussels sprouts.


4 ounces slab smoked bacon, cut into lardons or medium dice
18 ounces Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
4 shallots, sliced ¼-inch thick

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for 8 minutes until rendered and crispy.

Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add sprouts to the pan, flat-sides down. Make sure all sprouts are touching the pan – try to avoid overcrowding. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of the skillet.

Season with ½ teaspoon salt and cook on stovetop until golden brown. Add shallots, stir and place pan in the oven for 7-10 minutes until crispy and dark brown. Remove from oven, stir in reserved bacon and sage. Salt to taste and keep warm until serving.


Cauliflower with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson AVANT Chardonnay

Pairing Tips: Cauliflower can be seen as a dull veggie, but will showcase rich and complex flavors when paired with a dry, white wine like K-J AVANT Chardonnay. This wine is crisp and fruit-forward, due to neutral oak and steel tank fermentation.  


1 head golden cauliflower, cut into florets
½ cup white verjus (or ¼ cup apple juice + ¼ cup apple cider vinegar may be substituted)
2 ounces golden raisins
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

Blanch the cauliflower in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a small pot, bring the verjus to a boil.  Add raisins and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, stir in the mustard and honey until dissolved. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

Place arugula on a platter. Top with cauliflower, drizzle with raisin mixture and sprinkle with pine nuts.


Roasted Beets with Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir

Pairing Tips: Think rustic and earthy for this dish. K-J Grand Reserve Pinot Noir showcases subtle earthly tones, the perfect sidekick for this seasonal root vegetable.


1 bunch baby red beets
1 bunch baby golden beets
1 bunch baby Chioggia beets

Preheat oven to 400⁰F.

If the greens are attached to the beets, remove and discard. Place the beets in a roasting pan and rub with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Pour ½ cup water into the bottom of the pan and cover with foil. Roast for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beets are tender (a small knife should pass easily through the center of each beet). Once the beets are cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool in the covered roasting pan. (The steam in the roasting pan will help loosen the skin of the beets making it easy to peel once they have cooled slightly). While still warm, peel the beets by rubbing the skin off with paper.

For the pomegranate molasses vinaigrette:

1/8 cup pomegranate molasses
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup light olive oil
1½ tsp. kosher salt

Place in a blender and process until emulsified.

Place beets on a bed of baby kale and drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with sel gris.*

*Sel Gris is coarse granular sea salt popularized by the French. Because of its mineral complexity and coarse grain size, sel gris can be used both as a cooking salt and a finishing salt.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Crunchy Quinoa

Pair with: Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Gris

Pairing Tips: One of my favorite vegetables are roasted sweet potatoes, they are both healthy and delicious. The sweet, caramelized natural sugars in the potatoes pair wonderfully with the Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Gris. The honey and quinoa add a bit of sweetness and a crunchy texture.

One of my favorite vegetables are roasted sweet potatoes, they are both healthy and delicious. The sweet, caramelized natural sugars in the potatoes pair wonderfully with the Vintner’s Reserve Riesling. The honey and quinoa add a bit of sweetness and a crunchy texture.


4 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup quinoa
¼ cup honey

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Coat the sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt. Place in a roasting pan and bake until soft, approximately 1 hour. Potatoes should be soft to the touch and releasing some of the caramelized natural sugars.

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast quinoa until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in honey.

Slice the potatoes in half and serve hot, topped with toasted quinoa and honey.

Sprinkle with finishing salt.