Episode 6. The Wine-ification of Gavan – Part One


I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our visit to Napa. I fell in love with the food and of course the wine–which we definitely had our fair share of! Here’s the delicious and super easy winter salad recipe Chef Kevin Miller of the Villagio Inn & Spa made for us. Brilliant!

Serves 4

1 bunch of Hydroponic Watercress – half of the stems removed
1 head of Treviso– roughly chopped
4 Belgian Endives – tips and stems removed and discarded, chopped in thirds
2 Cripps Pink Apple (or any heirloom apple) – core discarded, thinly sliced
a handful of candied walnuts (recipe below)

Add the endive, Treviso and watercress to a large salad bowl. With clean hands gently toss to separate the endive. Add in apples followed by the walnuts and toss again using your fingers to separate any apples that are stuck together. Drizzle in just enough vinaigrette to coat the salad without drowning it and toss gently.


1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tsp organic honey (use Agave to keep it vegan)
3/4 cup walnut oil
1 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl EXCEPT for the oil. Then gradually drizzle in the walnut oil while constantly whisking. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired.


There’s no doubt that Kevin’s candied walnuts were delicious but as The Healthy Irishman, I’m always aiming to make my recipes a little healthier not to mention a little easier. Here’s my take on it.

6 oz walnuts
1 cup agave
1 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 400°F

On low heat warm the agave in a saucepan for 2 minutes until like a water consistency. Add the chili powder and mix thoroughly. Place the walnuts in a large bowl and drizzle the agave over. Coat all the walnuts completely.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper on an oven tray or baking sheet. Lay the coated walnuts in a single layer on the tray. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes until the walnuts are dark and toasty looking.

Let cool.

Store in an air tight container.

If you’re vegetarian take it to another level by adding a lovely 9-month aged Manchego cheese and if you like steak, try it topped with a bit of blue cheese. However your diet, just try it!

Brilliantly paired with The Messenger Chardonnay by our favourite wine guy (and fellow Irishman), Scott Lewis of V Wine Cellar in Yountville.

Thanks to Chris Thorpe of Adastra Vineyard for his gracious hospitality (and all the free vino). Click here to read about our visit to the Adastra Winery.

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee Minster January 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

I love this site! I look forward to each new esposide! Great Job!!

Barb January 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

Hi Gavan and Robin,

Since you didn’t address this issue on the show, I’m assuming you are not aware of the fact that not all wine is vegan. Many wines are filtered with animal byproducts such as gelatin, eggs, whey, fish bladder, and even ox blood. Some winemakers also use ingredients such as honey, dairy, and even meat when making their wine (same can be said about beer).

A good resource to check to see if your wine (or beer or spirit) is vegan is the website Barnivore (www.barnivore.com). If you can’t find your wine there, a simple email to the winery should do the trick. I frequently email wineries and most will respond to your request for more information.

Thank you again for the spaghetti squash episode. I had never made that type of squash before and don’t think I would have had I not seen that show. I so enjoyed it with my homemade pesto!

Keep up the fun in the kitchen!

Gavan January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey Barb, thanks for the feedback. When we were doing the wine episodes it was more about pairing food with wine as opposed to it highlighting vegan wines. I did know some of what you said but I hadn’t heard about meat and fish bladders being used. Very interesting and unfortunately not at all appetizing.
Thanks for the barnivore link. I’ll pass that along to Robin.
I’m glad you like the Spag squash recipe. A lot of people are liking this one and I love that we’re introducing people to new veggies.
We really appreciate the support.
Cheers, Gavan

Gavan January 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Renee, very sweet of you.

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