Recipe by Flora Momtazi of Maysara Winery
“This recipe was handed down from my husband’s mother. This dish is excellent as an appetizer; it is easy and has simple ingredients that you can find at your local market.” —Flora Momtazi
2 large eggplants
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 slices pickled jalapeño peppers
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
* salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Place both eggplants (whole) on a baking sheet. Roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until VERY soft. (The skin may actually appear a little burned, but this is fine.) Allow eggplants to cool for about 30 minutes before handling. 3. Once cool, remove the skin from the eggplants and discard. You will use the insides as a base for the dip. This process will get a little messy and slippery. Place the eggplant into a food processor along with all of the remaining ingredients. Process until very smooth, stopping every 10 seconds, or so, to scrape down the sides of the food processor. 4. Season with good amounts of salt and black pepper, and serve with pita chips or mini pretzels. Yields 6 servings.
Wine Suggestion: Maysara Roseena (Pinot Noir Rosé).
Roseena is an ancient Persian term for “a beautiful, elegant woman who naturally smells of roses.”
Moe and Flora Momtazi, born and raised in Tehran, Iran, moved to the U.S. in 1983. The family then migrated to Oregon in the early ’90s from Atlanta, Ga. Moe and his brother, Hamid, started a truss manufacturing company in Sandy, and then in 1994, the Momtazis moved the company to McMinnville, in the heart of the Willamette Valley.
Moe and Flora bought a 532-acre estate in 1997, and a year later planted the first 13 acres. Planted to Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Riesling, Momtazi Vineyard now spans 250 acres and is Demeter Certified Biodynamic—the largest vineyard of its kind in Oregon.
Maysara Winery was established on the rolling estate in 2001. The name comes from a Persian term, meaning “House of Wine.” Keeping with their heritage, the family decided to give the wines Persian names—Jamsheed, Asha, Delara, Mitra, Anahita.
In 2007, the winery itself became Demeter Certified Biodynamic, and Moe and Flora’s eldest daughter, Tahmiene, took over as winemaker, after graduating from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s in Fermentation Science.
The winery produces around 8,000 cases of wine a year; the majority of the production is Pinot Noir but also includes Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Maysara was the first winery to make biodynamic white wines in the Northwest.
Maysara Winery is located at 15765 S.W. Muddy Valley Road, McMinnville. The tasting room is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 503-843-1234 or visit www.maysara.com .