Review: Lucky Penny White

Lucky Penny’s white ($16.95) is a blend of chardonnay, viognier, and pinot grigio. It’s sweeter than one might expect—perhaps it’s the citrus from the pinot grigio—and certainly benefits from being chilled before pouring. The chardonnay brings crispness to the finish.

Lucky Penny white needn’t be paired with anything except a warm afternoon, but it works well with either a light meal or desert. Alternatively, if you’d like to cook with it, check out this recipe from the Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello (of whom I’m a big fan).

Pan Roasted Halibut with Warm Farro Salad, Lima Bean Pesto & Pickled Pear


  • 4.5 oz portions of west coast halibut fillet (editor’s note: either buy BC halibut, or don’t bother)
  • 1 cup Italian farro
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted and chopped pine nuts
  • 2 cups blanched and finely chopped green kale
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup packed Italian parsley leaves, picked and torn
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves, picked and torn
  • 2 pieces scallion, roots removed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sliced chives
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bosc pear peeled, cored and sliced into quarters
  • 2 cups champagne vinegar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 pieces whole white peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for cooking and garnish

Lima Bean Pesto

  • In food processor combine 1 cup lima beans, Italian parsley, basil, scallions, 1 tablespoon pine nuts, parmesan, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Pulse ingredients together until incorporated and a uniform but somewhat chunky texture is achieved. Check the seasoning; adjust if necessary and set aside.


  • In a medium sized sauce pot combine the farro, chicken stock, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and kosher salt.
  • Bring slowly up to a low boil and cook lightly for 20-30 minutes or until the farro is tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Pickled Pears

  • In a medium sized saucepot bring the champagne vinegar, water, bay leaf, white peppercorns, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon sugar to a boil.
  • Place the quartered pears in a non-reactive glass bowl and cover with the pickling liquid. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove pears from liquid and very carefully slice into thin pieces with a mandolin or sharp knife. Set aside.

Warm Farro Salad

  • In a large size sauté pan warm butter and extra virgin olive oil over low heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent.
  • Add faro, lima beans, garbanzo beans, chopped kale and toss with spoon to distribute. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto and incorporate until warmed through.
  • Add sliced chives and keep warm over a very low heat.


  • In a large size stainless steel pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season fish on all sides with kosher salt and, when oil is hot, add to the pan.
  • Gently sear the halibut until a light golden brown crust begins to form and place into a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and carefully turn fish over in the pan. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, melt over medium heat and baste the fish evenly. Remove from pan.
  • Distribute the Halibut among 4 plates and evenly spoon some of the warm farro salad over the plate. Garnish with the sliced pickled pears and the reserved pine nuts.


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