Summer SeasonJul 01, 2019 08:34AM ● By Maria Terry
When summer rolls around, I immediately think about creating a menu that focuses on the fantastic produce available in our area. Here is a delicious vegetarian meal that does just that. The recipes have relatively few ingredients, and the whole meal comes together very fast.
I love fresh corn and tomatoes together. There is a beautiful contrast between the red and yellow as well as a juxtaposition of sweet and tart. This Arugula, Potato, Corn, and Tomato Salad is improved by adding creamy white rose potatoes and slightly bitter arugula to further balance the dish. Corn and potatoes both go well with wine, so when you add them to a salad, they make it more wine friendly. That said, you still need a wine with good acidity to stand up to the vinegar and the tomatoes. Sauvignon Blanc is my go-to salad wine. Just about any will do, however, if you haven’t tried a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley of France called Pouilly-Fumé (pronounced poo-ee foo-may), I highly recommend it. Pouilly-Fumé has the classic acid backbone of Sauvignon Blanc along with excellent minerality from the high flint content in the soil where it is grown. In fact, this is one of the reasons it is called Fumé, the French word for “smoke.”
To keep the meal vegetarian, why not consider throwing some eggplant on the grill instead of meat? It is a great vegetable that maintains its structure on both indoor and outdoor grills. Provincial Rosé is the perfect wine with Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil. Rosé from the Provence region of France is generally dry and has herbal, less fruity flavors than many other regional rosés. It also has a good dose of acidity. These qualities match the herbaceousness of the basil while managing the acidity of the tomato. Of course, if you want some protein, you can easily add some chicken or other protein to the plate. The rosé works with it all!
Some of my favorite summer desserts star our fabulous California peaches. Here is a fun twist on peach cobbler, paired with a refreshing Peach Bellini. Super sweet Prosecco from Italy is bright and bubbly, and it is even better when poured over peach purée. The bubbles work to cleanse your palate from the richness of the biscuits and the vanilla ice cream on top.
So, go on. Pair Up!
Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. www.LaSommelierre.com
Corn, Potato, and Tomato Salad
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons minced shallots
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 cups loosely packed spring greens (about 6 ounces)
1½ pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 white rose potato or any waxy potato (about 6 ounces)
2 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears)
Combine vinegar and shallots in a large bowl and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Whisk oil into the vinegar mixture until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat.
Arrange arugula on serving plates. Add corn, potatoes, and tomatoes to the bowl. Toss to coat with the dressing that remains, and then spoon mixture over arugula and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil
1 eggplant (large, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus more for grilling)
1½ cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
¼ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
½ Tablespoon garlic powder or fresh garlic, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
Generously season eggplant slices with coarse salt. Place vertically in a colander or on a cutting board lined with paper towels, overlapping. Let stand 30-45 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Mix tomatoes, feta, garlic powder, and oil; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
Grill over preheated stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill at medium-high heat. Liberally brush cut sides of eggplant with oil. Grill, turning once, until tender, about 4-5 minutes a side. Place on a serving dish, spoon tomatoes over the top, and garnish with basil.
Yield: 4 servings
Fast Peach Cobbler
1 can crescent rolls, 8 count
2 large fresh peaches, peeled, seeded, cut into quarters
1 fresh peach, washed, seeded, and diced
2/3 cup simple syrup
½ cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Butter or PAM spray an 8 × 8 baking dish or casserole dish.
Unroll crescent rolls and roll each quarter peach in a crescent roll. Place in baking dish.
Mash chopped, peeled peaches with 2/3 cup of simple syrup. Let stand for 30 minutes, strain, and discard solids.
Combine melted butter with 2/3 cup of peach syrup. Pour over rolls. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream.
Note: If you can’t find fresh peaches, this recipe works with canned peaches. You can even use their syrup in place of homemade peach syrup.
Yield: 4 servings
2 ripe peaches, washed, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bottle chilled Prosecco sparkling wine
Place the peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Press the mixture through a sieve and discard the peach solids in the sieve. Place two tablespoons of the peach puree into each Champagne glass and fill with cold Prosecco. Serve immediately.
Yield: about 4 servings