Friday, July 17, 2009

Napa Style

Among the interns, there is a running joke about living ‘Napa style.’ It all started one night as a few of us gathered around the tiny brick fire pit- fire box, really- that sits in front of our house. We started a fire, opened a bottle of wine, and decided to forego cooking dinner in the nam e of keeping our kitchen clean. As we stayed warm by our little flame, the setting sun illuminated the grape vines that grow over the hills in front of the intern house.

Clearly, this was the good life. This, we decided, must be living Napa style- a little work, a little wine, a little good company. Since then, the definition of what is, and isn’t, Napa style has been the topic of much debate among the interns, and amuses us as we weed and hoe around the farm. Is it still Napa style if Micaela plays her cello as we sit around the fire? What about if Erin brings out the drums? (Probably not with the drums, we decided.) What about the frog chairs that Bob brought us to sit in, that we love dearly and are also clearly made for children? Maybe those are more Greenstring style.

In any case, we try to gather for these kinds of evenings often, finding that it relaxes us after a long day, and makes us stop to appreciate our beautiful surroundings. We’ve also added a little good food into the mix. Everything is cooked over our little fire, and nothing is complicated because that, we’ve all concluded, would decidedly not be in good Napa style.

Here is our most recent creation- a twist on our Napa style favorite meal, the ubiquitous bread and cheese. In this case, we make use of the farm’s apricots, grilling them until they start to caramelize along their edges, sprinkling them with opal basil, and placing them atop crispy grilled slices of baguette slathered with fresh goat cheese. The tanginess of the cheese provides the perfect complement to the sweet, smoky apricots. Who says fruit always has to be used in dessert? Serve this alongside a glass of a nice, dry white wine and feel the relaxation start to sweep over you- that’s definitely Napa style.

Bruschetta with Grilled Apricots and Goat Cheese

Makes 8

  • 4 apricots, halved and pitted
  • 8 slices of baguette, cut on a diagonal
  • 4 oz young goat cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons basil, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper
  1. In a small bowl, toss the apricots with 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste
  2. Brush one side of the bread with olive oil and, on a hot grill, place the slices, oil side down to toast for 2-3 minutes per side, until the oiled side has nice grill marks
  3. Grill the apricots, cut side down, until they are tender and caramelized along the edges
  4. Cut each apricot half in half again and toss with the basil
  5. spread about one tablespoon of goat cheese on each slice of bread and top with two pieces of apricot


  1. Ooooh that looks good! Gonna try this with our new grill pan. =D

  2. Nice! Definitely Napa style. Thanks for the yummy idea. I'm going camping this weekend and I'll give this a try.

  3. Super yummy! My only questions is why is it called Napa Style- we are in Sonoma. Never the less it is the way to live