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August 2015 – Summer Tart

Aug 01, 2015 10:36AM ● By Jennifer Neys

Ginger Lemonade

Blistering hot days, relaxing warm nights; the summer heat makes me want foods that are simple and refreshing. How about a pizza appetizer with a fresh salad on top? Zesty, herbaceous chicken and pasta? A sweet fruit tart at the end? Refreshing drinks to go with it all? Sounds good to me, let’s begin!

Start off your evening with Prosciutto, Asparagus and Arugula Pizza. These little squares are just the right amount of salty & cheesy offset by crisp greens. The creamy ricotta and mascarpone has a touch of tangy mustard and is perfectly complemented by thinly sliced prosciutto. Then, on top, arugula and asparagus tossed with tangy lemon. This pizza will go with just about any unoaked white wine. Or, try the non-alcoholic recipe for Ginger Lemonade listed here.

While you are sitting outside enjoying your pizza, grill some chicken. Try Herbed Marinated Chicken ( Pair Up, July 2011) with a green salad, and Lemon Orzo with Toasted Pine Nuts. These bright flavors are best with white wines like Sauvignon or Chenin Blanc that have moderate to high acidity and can stand up to the lemon and herbal flavors. Or, because of the smoke from the grill, you can choose a white wine that has a little oak aging, like some Chardonnays.

End the evening on a sweet but light note by picking up a fruit tart from your favorite bakery. Consider pairing it with a Deutscher Rieslingsekt. Sekt is Germany’s term for sparkling wine. A Deutscher Rieslingsekt is a wine made from Riesling grapes that have been grown in Germany. The high altitudes and low temperatures in Germany allow the grapes to ripen, yet retain acidity. The classic flavors of the Riesling grape are stone fruits like peach and apricot. Also, it has honey and white flower notes. These aromas and flavors will pair beautifully with the fruit tart. If you can’t find a German sparkling Riesling, just about any sweet sparkling will do. Look for words like Doux on French wines, Off Dry or Sweet on American wines, or, if you love Italian wines, try a Prosecco or Moscato d’Asti. Because the bubbles cleanse the cream layer from the palate, sparkling water with some fresh fruit will work if you want to end the evening alcohol-free.

So, go on. Pair Up! 

Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Ginger Lemonade


10 ounces fresh ginger

2 cups sugar

10 cups water, divided

2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 15 lemons) 


by  Maria Terry, Certified Sommelier

Peel the ginger and chop into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Combine the ginger, sugar, and 4 cups of the water in a medium pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the ginger with the back of a spoon. You should have about 3 cups of syrup. Cool to room temperature.

Combine the lemon juice and remaining 6 cups water in a large pitcher or pot. Stir in all of the ginger syrup. Chill before serving or serve over ice.

Adjust the amount of simple syrup based on your personal taste. Consider storing the leftover ginger pieces in the fridge to eat throughout the week or add them to your favorite muffin recipe. 

Yield: 10-11 cups

Prosciutto, Asparagus and Arugula Pizza 


(2) frozen puff pastry dough crusts, approx. 10”X 9” 


¼ cups mascarpone cheese

¼ cups ricotta

¼ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. prepared horseradish

½ tsp. coarse-grained mustard

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

¼ cup shredded mozzarella 


½ pound thin asparagus, blanched, bias-cut

3 cups arugula

1 tsp. lemon juice



Lemon zest


Pre-heat oven to 400°. Fold dough in half and roll out to a rectangle, approximately 6”x12”. Create a border by docking the dough, 1” from edge, all the way around. Inside the border, dock the dough in a lattice pattern. Pre-bake for 10 minutes.

Mix cheeses with thyme, horseradish and mustard. Spread filling evenly into unbaked crust. Top with prosciutto and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 425° for 15 minuites until just browned. 

Allow to cool 2-3 minutes and cut each pizza into (12) 3”X 3” rectangles. Toss asparagus and arugula with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Top warm pizza with cool salad and finish with lemon zest. 

Yield: 6-8 servings, total of (16) 3”x 3” square 

Lemon Orzo with Toasted Pine Nuts


1 lb. uncooked orzo pasta

4 tsp. grated lemon rind

½ cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 medium lemons)

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Combine rind, juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta to juice mixture; toss to coat. Serve hot or room temperature. Stir in parsley and pine nuts just before serving.

Yield:  (6) ½ cup servings


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