Warm Spinach & Zucchini Salad and Cheese Straws by Chef Martin Courtman

Chef Martin Coutman brings us a healthy, warm salad and zesty Fiscalini cheese straws to take the chill off of frosty February.

As the executive chef of Alexander Valley Grille at Chateau Souverain Winery for fifteen years, Martin created a bistro-style menu suited to his love of cooking “to the market.”  Courtman’s talent is creating menus based on Sonoma County’s vast resources ranging from artisan cheeses, seafood, meats and free-range poultry, to locally grown fruits and vegetables, to maximize freshness and reflect the seasons.


Warm Spinach and Zuchini Salad


1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 small purple onion, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups torn spinach leaves
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons Lucini Pinot Grigio White Wine Vinegar
¼ tablespoon dried crushed basil
¼ teaspoon garlic salt

In skillet, saute zucchini and onion in oil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until just tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Toss to blend.  Serve warm.  Makes 2 generous portions.

Zesty Fiscalini Cheese Straws


1 pound softened butter
1 pound Fiscalini Caraway, Dill (or other seasoned) cheddar cheese
4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Dash Tabasco sauce OR cayenne (red) pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together until well blended; place on waxed paper to rest.  Roll dough out to approximately ¼-inch thickness.  Using star shaped bakery tube, cut into long narrow straws OR form thin rounds.  Bake about 10 minutes until lightly browned.  When straws have cooled, place in airtight container (preferably one with a lock, or all will disappear before you’re ready to serve them!).