Concannon Vineyard Finds Greener Pastures for St. Patrick's Day Meals

Chef Diane Henderiks Offers a New Spin on St. Patrick's Day Fare From Concannon Vineyard, Wines with a Deeply Rooted Irish Family Heritage

Mar 07, 2012, 09:00 ET from Concannon Vineyard

LIVERMORE, Calif., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There are many shades of green coming from Concannon Vineyard  this St. Patrick's Day.  A "green" winery in its own right, Concannon is teaming up with nationally acclaimed Chef Diane Henderiks to offer unique, tasty dishes that celebrate the holiday and its theme color.



"St. Patrick's Day has extra special meaning for us here at Concannon because it is also the birthday of our founder, my great-grandfather James Concannon, who was born in Ireland on March 17, 1847," said Fourth Generation Vintner John Concannon.  "Good wine and good company have always been paired with good food.  On this holiday, I'm proud to share two of my favorite Concannon family recipes, Irish Soda Bread and Clove Cabernet Pear Jam, which I recommend pairing with Conservancy Chardonnay or Petite Sirah, or Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir."

Chef Diane Henderiks, an expert at revamping traditional recipes, puts a new spin on St. Patrick's Day fare by creating a "green" dish,  Pistachio Pesto Crab Cakes with Avocado Cream, which is recommended with Selected Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc or Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay.

"I wanted to go beyond the expected corned beef and cabbage and create a 'green' dish that is not only healthy, but also brightens up the meal," said Henderiks.  "To celebrate the theme color of the holiday, I featured vibrant green ingredients, including basil, pistachio, parsley, celery, avocado, and chives, in this mouth-watering crab cake recipe." 

This new recipe and other Concannon Family Recipes can be found at .

No stranger to being "green," Concannon Vineyard has always pursued the creation of world class wines that respect and nurture the natural resources of the land, and its conservancy program reflects its commitment to sustaining a "green" way of life from generation to generation through its land, heritage and wine-making practices.  The Conservancy tier of wines is named for the vineyards they are sourced from; vineyards that have been placed in a conservation easement that will ensure the land remains agricultural for perpetuity.

"Concannon Vineyard blends tradition with innovation in our grape-growing, winemaking and estate management practices," said Concannon.  "We take pride in being certified for our organic efforts and we are continually striving to find new ways to increase our contributions toward a more sustainable way of life for future generations." 

About Concannon Vineyard 
With four generations of family involvement, Concannon Vineyard's pioneering contributions to California winemaking and viticulture have built a landmark winery with an enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wines proudly served on American tables for over 128 years. Founder of America's first Petite Sirah, Concannon Vineyard also introduced Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11, which provided the backbone of Napa Valley's Cabernet resurgence in the 1970's and 1980's. The historic winery earned organic certification for its estate vineyards in 2010 and preserves an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development through its new Conservancy tier of critically acclaimed wines. For additional information please visit:

Diane Henderiks' Pistachio Pesto Crab Cakes with Avocado "Cream"

For the Pistachio Pesto:
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons shelled pistachio nuts
1 clove garlic; crushed
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Crab Cakes:
8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 egg white; beaten

For the Avocado "Cream":
1 whole ripe avocado, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Make the Pesto: combine first 4 ingredients in food processor and process to paste-like consistency.
  2. Scrape down the sides and with blade running, drizzle in olive oil.
  3. Remove from food processor, stir and set aside.
  4. Make the Crab Cakes: in mixing bowl, gently combine first 6 ingredients (crabmeat through paprika).
  5. Whisk yogurt and egg white together and gently combine with crabmeat mixture.
  6. Shape into 4 cakes (about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick)
  7. Place on paper towel lined plate, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Make the Avocado Cream: Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
  9. Cook the Crab Cakes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Remove crab cakes from paper towel lined plate and gently spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on top of each crab cake.
  11. Dust both sides of cakes with flour.
  12. Heat olive oil in cast iron pan over high heat. Gently place crab cakes, pesto side down, into pan.
  13. Sear for 1 minute, flip gently and remove pan from heat.
  14. Place pan in oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until heated through and browned.
  15. Serve with avocado cream.
  16. Enjoy!

Serves 2:  main course 
Serves 4:  appetizer

Concannon Family Recipe

Irish Soda Bread

Serve with an aged Irish farmhouse cheese, Irish smoked salmon, Mustard Dill Butter or Cabernet Pear Jam.

Serve with Conservancy Chardonnay or Petite Sirah, or Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir.

2 c milk
1/4 c plain low‐fat yogurt
1 large egg
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 c unbleached flour
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp wheat germ
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
4 tbsp cold butter, cut in small pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 9‐inch spring form pan. Whisk milk, yogurt, egg and honey in small bowl. Combine both flours, wheat germ, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add butter and rub with fingertips to make coarse crumbs. Add milk mixture; stir to blend. With floured hands mound in pan.

Bake until tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan.

Serves: 8

Concannon Family Recipe

Clove Cabernet Pear Jam

Serve with Irish soda bread and sweet butter or Irish Farmhouse cheese.

3 c diced cored ripe Bosc pears
1 c Conservancy Cabernet Sauvignon
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c raisins
1 t grated orange zest
1/8 t ground cloves

In a medium saucepan gently boil pears, Conservancy Cabernet Sauvignon, sugar, raisins, orange zest and cloves, stirring, until very thick, 10‐15 minutes. Cool. Keep refrigerated.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Chef Diane Henderiks

Diane Henderiks, R.D. is on a mission to teach America how to cook and eat well! She is a personal chef, Registered Dietitian, cookbook author and is the go-to food and nutrition expert for national television, print, on-line media. Diane is consulting nutritionist for Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts, council chef for Chef's for Humanity and advisory board member for the American Vegetarian Association. To keep up to date with the latest culinary and nutrition information she is active member of the American Dietetic AssociationInternational Association of Culinary Professionals and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Diane travels the country sharing her expertise and engaging audiences at the nation's top food & wine festivals and women's events.

Live guest chef appearances have included Disney's Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalFoxwood's Food & Wine Festival,  WOR Radio's Taste of New YorkTaste of the LPGATaste of VailGulf Coast Woman's Expo, Atlantic City Food & Wine FestivalPhiladelphia Food & Wine FestivalSummit Food & Wine Festival & Phoenix Women's Expo, to name a few.

Diane manages two companies "Diane's Daily Dish", her personal chef service and Diane M. Henderiks, R.D. & Associates LLC, her nutrition consulting firm. She hosts regular culinary demonstrations, supermarket tours and workshops in New Jersey.  Diane has raised the culinary bar for healthy cooking and is renowned for her expertise in creating wholesome cuisine that is both delicious and nutritious.

Diane lives in New Jersey with her husband Erick and sons Lukas and Derek.

More information can be found at

SOURCE Concannon Vineyard