Recipes from Paso Robles Wine Country: Kiler Ridge Gazpacho

by Audrey Burnam

Looking for a great way to use those delicious tomatoes and cucumbers that are so abundant in our local farmers markets? We have a solution for you! Try this delicious, creamy gazpacho which will become a huge hit with your end-of-summer guests. Remember to use a high quality, local, extra virgin olive oil in the recipe because it really makes a huge difference in the taste and quality. I also recommend heading out to your local Farmer’s Market for some fresh-from-the-garden, organic veggies and fresh, local herbs.

Kiler Ridge Gazpacho

Makes about 4 cups
*Adapted from recipe in Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food, by Mogannam & Gough

1 cup of extra virgin olive oil (we recommend Kiler Ridge Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/8 cup Spanish Sherry Vinegar
1/2 tsp Tapatio sauce
1 tsp Kosher flaked salt
1 small clove garlic
1/4 medium red onion
Handful of parsley sprigs
Handful of basil leaves
1/4 cucumber (I recommend Armenian or English cucumbers) and a bit extra to use for garnish
3 medium to large and very ripe tomatoes (feel free to mix up all kinds of tomatoes, including heirlooms)

Peel and cut cucumber into chunks. Core and cut tomatoes into chunks. Put olive oil, vinegar, Tapatio sauce, and salt in food processor and blend until mixed (about 30 seconds). Continue blending, and slowly drop vegetables and herbs into the food processor, in the following order: garlic, onion, parsley, Kiler Ridgebasil, cucumber, tomato. Blend until smooth consistency.
Chill for at least 2 hours. This soup will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 days. Serve cold, garnished with chopped cucumber (peeled and seeds removed), and olive oil croutons.

To make croutons: Cut french bread into 3/4” cubes. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and toss generously with extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. Spread bread cubes onto a cookie baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through baking.

Cheers!

Audrey Burnam and Gregg Bone are the co-owners of Kiler Ridge Olive Farm located on the west side of Paso Robles, just two miles from the Downtown Square. Kiler Ridge specializes in Italian varietals of olive trees and produces award-winning, green/grassy and robust extra virgin olive oils.

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Classic Films Return to he Big Screen in Paso Robles

Vintage Film Guest blog Bogart w Bacall 2by Chris Weygandt Alba

Classic films return to the big screen twice a year in downtown Paso Robles, thanks to the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association and the city’s downtown movie complex, Park Cinemas. These Sunday-evening classics, offered in September and February, are hugely popular with vintage movie buffs, boasting a $10 ticket price that includes popcorn and soda pop. It’s for a good cause, too, benefiting the local Main Street program that is devoted to the preservation and vitality of Paso Robles’ historic downtown.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, Main Street’s “Pajama Party” fundraiser features one of the greatest cinema romances of all time: the 1946 film-noir classic “The Big Sleep,” starring Humphrey Bogart and his sizzling new love, Lauren Bacall, in a devious mystery spun by masters Raymond Chandler and Howard Hawks.

“The Big Sleep” ranks in cinematic history as a classic work of film noir. Bogart—rated the greatest male star in the history of American cinema by the American Film Institute—plays the iconic hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe with wicked cleverness, as he weaves through the lurid underbelly of 1940s L.A. glamour in a plot of blackmail, murder, and deceit.

The film is historic for another reason. “The Big Sleep” is Bogart’s second film with young Lauren Bacall, who is about to become his lifelong partner, and before your very eyes, the camera captures the deepening love affair between the icon and the ingénue. After filming wrapped in early 1945, scenes were re-shot and parts of the film revised to capitalize on their chemistry, and they married before the movie was released in 1946.

Seating is limited and advance tickets are advisable because previous events have sold out. They can be purchased in advance only through the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association. To use a credit card, call the office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 805-238-4103, or visit the office at 835 12th St., entering around back in the Norma’s Way alley.

The show begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Park Cinemas (1100 Pine St.), but arrive much earlier for best seating. Main Street volunteers will have a table outside the cinema entrance if tickets are still available Sunday evening before showtime.

Chris Weygandt Alba left a magazine career in Southern California a dozen years ago for the greener pastures of her childhood home. Now she writes for a local magazine, profiling the many intriguing characters who make their home in northern San Luis Obispo County.

AgriTourism Adventures at The Abalone Farm

by Tina Swithin

For the past 28 years, I have been in awe of the many wonders of the Central Baby AbaloneCoast.  San Luis Obispo County never ceases to amaze me as there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered at every turn.

This week I was invited to tour The Abalone Farm in Cayucos and to be perfectly honest, I went into the experience wondering, “What exactly is an abalone?”  I’ve tasted this delicacy in restaurants but didn’t really think past the delicious morsels dancing on my palate.

I arrived at The Abalone Farm to the site of hundreds of raised abalone tanks overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Morro Rock.  I am thoroughly convinced that these little sea snails have one of the most stunning views around. We were quickly greeted by Brad Buckley, Sales and Marketing IMG_3387Manager, who, as it turns out, is somewhat of a legend in the abalone world.  He was delightful from start to finish and nothing short of a walking encyclopedia on abalones.

We were told that The Abalone Farm happens to be the largest aquaculture facility (18 acres) of its kind in the country and it produces over 100 TONS of California Red Abalone each year. Continue reading

Pairings in Paso: My Rosé Obsession

Imageby Jennifer Knoll

With Concerts in the Park beginning this month, both in Paso and Templeton, I would like to showcase my favorite wine, for one of my most special events.

Rosé  is the perfect accompaniment to any trip to a Concert, and it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that my infatuation with the pink stuff runs deep. However, it’s more than the flirty sensual color that appeals to me, but more its diverse, underrated personality. Rosé is an entity in and of itself. It harkens to red, but only enough to turn it “pink”, depending on the grapes used and the production technique. Its color/gender-busting ability takes it away from white and into a spectral range from pale orange to a vivid, near-purple. It’s crisp, lively, affordable, and pairs well with all food, especially summer fare and barbecue. The British rock band, The Feeling, in their song all about Rosé(!), serenaded best, “the white to your left/the red to your right/are all that I’d seen/’til I realized the love that I seek/ lies right in between.” Continue reading

Experience Paso Robles Wine Tasting (and Weddings) by Horse Drawn Carriage

Aside

Imageby Tina Swithin

There is always something new to discover in Paso Robles, which is one of the many things that I love about this area.  A few weeks ago, I received a call from Morgan at Midnight Cellars who was eager to share news about the newest business to “trot” onto the Paso Robles wine scene.  If you are questioning my choice of words, let me explain that this business did in fact “trot” into Paso Robles.

If you are planning to indulge in the Paso Robles wine tasting experience, there are a variety of ways to visit tasting rooms: limos, wine tours, trolleys and now carriage rides!  Yes, I did say ‘carriage rides’.  Angel3 White Horse Carriage Co. is a welcomed addition to Paso Robles, providing wine tasting excursions by horse-drawn carriage.  You can sit back and enjoy the rolling hills, vines and fresh air from the comfort of a lovingly restored Victorian-era carriage.  Their tours include two to four boutique tasting rooms and a light picnic lunch in the midst of a local vineyard or can be catered to your individual needs. Continue reading

Lavender is BLOOMING in Paso Robles

Imageby Tina Swithin

Mmmm….the smell of lavender is in the air!  Just a whiff of lavender has the ability to instantly relax me.  I look forward to the month of May because I know that I’ll be receiving a call from a lovely woman by the name of Lila at Central Coast Lavender Farms.  That phone call means that the farm is officially open.  There is a short window of time each summer before harvest when you can actually get a sneak peak behind the scenes and into the world of lavender.  That time has come! Continue reading