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Vegetarian Pairing for 2017 Taplin Cabernet Sauvignon

November 10th, 2021

This vegan recipe draws (loose) inspiration from feijoada, the national dish of Brazil—an intensely rich, meaty black bean stew often seasoned with tempero baiano and served with toasted cassava root, sliced oranges, and greens. Here, layers of smoky and herbaceous flavors in the black beans pair beautifully with the earthy thyme and basil notes in the wine. Thick medallions of roasted sweet potato and a zesty chimichurri vinaigrette provide a colorful and satisfying topping that fires on all cylinders. The 2017 Taplin Cellars St. Helena Cabernet’s sweet, pure fruit core shines with this dish, and gracefully balances the gentle heat.

Tempero baiano literally means seasoning from Bahia (a northeastern state in Brazil), and is popular in stews and grilled meats and fish all over the country. This modified version is extra smoky from Spanish pimentón de la vera, which adds great depth to vegetarian beans. Use the mild, agrodolce style of pimentón de la vera to control the level of heat, and try to season the beans ahead so the flavors have more time to meld.

Brazilian Black Beans & Sweet Potato with Chimichurri Vinaigrette

Serves 4


Tempero Baiano Spice Mix
2 tsp Spanish pimentón de la vera
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 dried bay leaf, crumbled finely
½ tsp ground pepper (black or white)
¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/16 tsp ground nutmeg

Brazilian Black Beans
3 Tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped or grated fresh garlic
3–4 tsp tempero baiano spice mix, to taste
2 15.5-oz cans black beans (about 3 cups cooked plus their liquor)
4 medium sweet potatoes (4–5 oz each)
1 Tbsp neutral (or olive) oil

Chimichurri Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp minced or grated fresh garlic
generous pinch each of salt, pepper
small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste


Combine all ingredients for the tempero baiano spice mix and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the coconut oil and garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the tempero baiano, cook for 30 seconds to bloom the spices, then pour in both cans of beans with their liquid and stir well. Allow the beans to simmer gently with the seasoning at least 10 minutes before serving. If you have time to let them sit overnight, that’s even better.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Scrub the skin of the sweet potatoes well, and cut off any unsightly bits. Slice into medallions about one-inch thick, season with salt and toss with the oil in a mixing bowl until coated. Place the medallions in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 15–20 minutes, then flip medallions over and cook for another 10–15 minutes until done.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare and whisk together all ingredients for the chimichurri vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning to taste, and whisk well again just before use.

Serve a generous scoop of reheated black beans per person, topped with sweet potato medallions. For each plate, drizzle a scant tablespoon of chimichurri vinaigrette over the sweet potatoes and serve hot with a glass of Taplin Cellars 2017 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon.

Recipe by Hedonism Eats

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