Hello again. It’s already Friday and it’s looking like a warm and sunny start to the weekend. We’ve had more rain here this week – my poor flowers are drowning!
I am absolutely not a wine connoisseur by any means, but I do like a glass (or two) of wine with my dinner (and quite possibly before dinner, too). I had no clue about wine pairing – and nor did I care – until I went on a wine tour in Courtney, BC last year with a group of girlfriends. Each taste of wine came with a different type of food to try with it, and I started to realize how different types of food can change the taste of wine completely – yes, yes, I’m a little slow!
Fascinated, I wanted to explore that a bit more and Saturday dinner seems the perfect time for it. Our intention is to decide what we feel like for supper that day, find out which wines would go best with that meal, and then narrow it down to a bottle or two to try. Sounds good, yes? Join us.
To see previous wine pairing posts, click here
I would like to add that all the wines featured in this post are under $20.00 CAD (excluding GST). I don’t know about you, but we’re on a bit of a budget in this household 🙂
I love throwing parties. I love the menu planning, the buying of the wine, the flowers, the tablescaping … but most of all, I love enjoying a great meal and a few drinks with good friends and/or family, and wine pairing is great for dinner-table conversation.
Here are three simple dishes and the wines that you can pair with them, for a relaxing spring party on your patio with a few good friends. The recipes are from Chef Lawren Moneta.
SPRING PEA CARBONARA
2 tbsp (30 mil olive oil)
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz (240 ml) fresh morel mushrooms, halved or quartered
2 cup (500 ml) packed dandelion greens
2 large eggs
1 lb (450 g) dried or fresh Orecchiette Pasta
2 cup (500 ml) fresh shelled peas
1 1/2 cup (380 ml) sugar snap peas
1 1/2 cup (380 ml) snow pea pods
1/2 cup (130 ml) grated Parmesan, divided
1 lemon, zest only, finely grated, for garnish
1/4 cup (60 ml) pea shoots, for garnish
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh mint leaves, for garnish
1 ball burrata cheese
- In a large pot, bring 4 liters (16 cups) of water and 2 tbsp (30 ml) salt to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, sauté onion in oil on medium-high until tender. Add garlic and mushrooms, turn down heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 8 minutes. Add greens and cook, stirring often, until just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper before removing from heat and setting aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs. Set aside.
- When water comes to a boil, add pasta. Turn down heat to medium-low and maintaining a slow boil until pasta is just al dente, about 7 minutes. Ladle out and set aside 1 cup (250 ml) of cooking water. Add peas to water with pasta. Increase heat to high and cook for 1 minute. Drain pasta and vegetables, do not rinse. Return to pot and place on warm stovetop burner that has been turned off. Gradually whisk 3 tbsp (45 ml) reserved hot pasta water into eggs, then pour over pasta, gently stirring with a wooden spoon to coat pasta. Stir in ⅔ of Parmesan, mushroom mixture and enough reserved pasta water to loosen pasta and create a creamy sauce. Season to taste with pepper.
- Serve with a sprinkle of lemon zest, remaining Parmesan, torn mint leaves and dollops of burrata cheese. Serve warm.
SANTA MARGHERITA VALDADIGE PINOT GRIGIO – Italy 00
Fresh, lively and well-executed, this
benchmark Pinot Grigio delivers citrus,
quince, green apple, peach and mineral
flavours along with crisp acidity and a clean
VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN SAUVIGNON BLANC – New Zealand 00
Vibrant aromas of citrus, fresh-cut grass,
green bell pepper and snow peas waft from
the glass, leading to a medium-bodied palate
with lemon, gooseberry and herb flavours
accented by lively acidity.
For this dish, we chose the Santa Margherita Valdadige Pinot Grigio.
PORK CHOPS WITH SPRING SLAW
1 tbsp (20 ml) tahini
1/4 cup (60 ml) Greek yogurt
1 tbsp (20 ml) lemon juice
3 tbsp (50 ml) water
1 tbsp (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tbsp (20 ml) chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups (380 ml) Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (130 ml) sesame seeds
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (130 ml) all-purpose flour
4 pork chops, about 1-in (2.5 cm) thick
2 tbsp (30 ml) grapeseed oil, plus extra
2 cucumbers, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
6 oz (180 ml) green beans, blanched and cut in half lengthwise
4 cup (1000 ml) baby spinach leaves, sliced into ¼-in (0.5 cm) width strips
1/4 cup (60 ml) natural almonds, toasted and chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and quartered
1 Green Olive Salsa, to serve
GREEN OLIVE SALSA
1 cup (250 ml) pitted green olives, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 ml) capers, rinsed
1 cup (250 ml) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp (20 ml) fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp (20 ml)
fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp (20 ml) lemon juice
3 tbsp (50 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- DRESSING: Place tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, water, oil and cumin in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Mix panko and sesame seeds on a dinner plate. On another plate, place beaten eggs and on a third plate place flour.
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper before coating in flour, shaking off any excess. Working with one pork chop at a time, dip into egg, then press into breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Add as many pork chops as will fit, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a rimmed baking tray lined with parchment paper and fry remaining chops, adding more oil as needed. Once all chops have been browned, bake until cooked to desired doneness. Set aside and keep warm.
- While pork chops bake, place cucumber slices, beans, spinach and almonds in a large bowl. Add some dressing and toss to combine. Divide salad among serving plates. Top with an avocado quarter, an extra drizzle of dressing (if desired) and a cooked pork chop. Spoon some Green Olive Salsa over pork chop and serve immediately.
- GREEN OLIVE SALSA: In a bowl, stir together all ingredients and set aside for 20 minutes. Salsa is best served the same day it is made.
TINHORN CREEK PINOT GRIS – British Columbia 00
This classic BC Pinot Gris has a fresh floral
bouquet with hints of white peach and citrus
zest. Medium-bodies with lovely viscosity,
it has pear, honeydew and grapefruit flavours
accented by minerality.
GRAY MONK RIESLING – British Columbia 01
An incredible value year after year,
this impressive Riesling offers
green apple, peach and lime aromas
that slow seamlessly to an off-dry palate
with crisp acidity and a long finish.
We chose the Gray Monk Riesling to try with this dish.
No party is complete without a delicious dessert. This one’s a no-bake cake which means less work in the kitchen 🙂 and should be made a day in advance.
PISTACHIOS AND ORANGE BLOSSOM NO-BAKE CAKE
Make 1 day ahead of serving – Serves 4
- Line bottom of a 6-in (15 cm) spring-form pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse ½ cup (125 ml) pistachios, dates, coconut and ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt until crumbly. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup and process until mixture is sticky and holds together when a bit is formed into a ball. Transfer to prepared spring-form pan and press over base of pan in an even layer. Place in freezer while making next layer.
- In a blender or food processor, combine remaining ¾ cup (175 ml) maple syrup, ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt, avocados, lime juice and orange blossom water until smooth. Add remaining 2 tbsp (30 ml) pistachios and pulse so they are not fully blended and small pieces are still visible. Pour mixture over prepared crust. Smooth out top and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios before freezing until firm, about 5 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, garnish with edible flowers and extra pistachios, if desired. Slice with a warm knife and keep any leftovers frozen.
MIONETTO TREVISO BRUT PROSECCO – Italy 01
This fragrant Prosecco brings together ripe peach,
pear, exotic citrus, honey and rose notes in a
light and lively profile with persistent bubbles
and a long, juicy finish.
CAVICCHIOLI 1928 SPUMANTE – Italy 04
Intense aromas of white flowers, peach
and apricot burst from the glass leading
to an attractively sweet palate with
vibrant lemon acidity and a soft creamy
We chose the Cavicchioli 1928 Spumante for this dish.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!