Toast, toasted and toasty means flavor and comfort to me. While toasted might imply that things have been taken a bit too far, I think of it as providing flavor, nuance and texture to something like a slice of beautifully leavened bread or an inviting crunch to what was once a raw nut. Toasting brings out the most of so many ingredients. 

Toasting freekeh brings out a smokiness that comes from roasting the green kernels of wheat over a fire. It releases malted caramel notes found in the kernel as it toasts and nicely rounds out the flavor. Toasting chestnuts helps them hold their shape and reveal their sweet nuttiness.

Speaking of toast, we can’t forget the toasting that happens in the making of a barrel that contributes an elegant nuance to a wine such as RSV’s Three Amigos Pinot Noir. The beautiful, restrained toast of tight grained French oak lends a beautiful spice to the wine and provides an intricately woven foundation for the bright cranberry fruit and hints of rhubarb and black tea. 

The subtle spice of the Three Amigos cuvée blends seamlessly with the earthiness of the mushrooms and the sweet nuttiness of the chestnuts. It’s a complex combination that goes beautifully with the wine.

You can add pancetta for a bit more richness or leave it out for a vegetarian option. Serve the freekeh on its own as a light supper or as a side to roasted pork or chicken.

Until the Next Wine…

EAT: Toasted Freekeh with Chestnuts and Chanterelles