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PUBLISHED: 1:41 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Bring Home the Taste of Tuscany

Perched on a hilltop, with a breathtaking view of vineyards and the rolling Tuscan landscape, lies the historic Castello di Gabbiano. Here, winemakers have been crafting wines - including Chianti, the area's hallmark - since the 12th century. The winery-estate is also home to Il Cavaliere Restaurant and chef Marco Stabile. Stabile's cooking is inspired by the traditional dishes of his Tuscan childhood, and the natural bounty of the region. Ingredients as varied as dried figs, olive oil, locally-produced cheeses, game birds, smoked meats and more find delicious expression in his changing seasonal menu - and pair perfectly with the estate's wines.

Bring the taste of Tuscany home, with these recipes adapted from Stabile's menu. Dried California figs, both golden Calimyrnas and dark purple Missions, with their naturally-sweet flavor, luscious texture and year-round versatility, are a favored ingredient in Italy and America. Fresh Tomato Sauce With Shredded Beef and Sage-Rolled Figs is Stabile's modern rendition of an ancient Florentine classic, while Pan-Fried Game Hens With Figs and New Potatoes are made easy with Cornish game hens substituting for traditional pigeon breasts. Wine-Soaked Fig Bread Pudding uses easy-to-find Tuscan-style bread and Chianti-plumped dried figs in a dessert that's layered with authentic flavor. A bottle of Castello di Gabbiano Chianti, with its notes of cherry, blackberry and spice, complements these full-flavored dishes and completes your Tuscan feast!

For an exclusive recipe from chef Marco Stabile for Fig With Gorgonzola Toasts, or to learn more about Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid Dried California Figs or Castello di Gabbiano wines and visitor information, visit these websites: www.valleyfig.com or www.gabbiano.com.


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