Summer has arrived, and with that comes lighter dishes and white wine. If you’re like me, you will do the traditional “summer food” like salads, chicken, fish and pasta, while often adding something different, something new to the menu. – Ed.
The arriving summer bounty can be used in many ways, from the classic Pasta Primavera, (literally Spring Pasta) to more adventurous offerings – there’s no limit to what you can cook over the coming months. What follows are a few suggested recipes to get you started, with some wine pairing ideas perfect for welcoming in the warmth of summer.
Vegetable & Potato Frittata
What an easy way to slide into summer. I’m not sure exactly what I should call this. It’s a frittata but at the same time it’s a lot like a classic Spanish Torta, so maybe Tortatta is appropriate. Whatever you call it, this looks delicious as a starter, brunch item, or a simple snack. It’s the kind of thing you can cook in the morning and nibble on all day long – a lazy day dish.
With all the cheese here, this is a fairly rich little dish, so let’s pair it with a fairly rich white wine, like a pinot blanc, riesling, gewürtztraminer or pinot gris.
And here we have a little more cross-cultural fusion going on, with Arborio rice being called out in a Paella recipe. Oh the blasphemy! OK, no need to overreact, just don’t use Arborio rice for Paella, use rice that works for paella.
I’m not going to get tricky here, I’m just going to stick with a tried and true wine for a vegetable paella, a Rioja Blanco … (or) Something aged and funky … , but even a more modern version that relies on freshness of fruit would do wonders with this dish.
Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Pasta
Lo and behold, we have a pretty classic Italian recipe here! Not what some might expect in a Pasta Primavera – there’s no cream – but very much like what an Italian might throw together in the spring or summer.
This is simple, fresh and unfussy, and the wine you pair with should be too. The only slight hiccup I see is the addition of lemon zest to the recipe. That just means you’ll need a lemony, zesty wine to match. So we go for Vermentino, … with fresh lemony goodness, sure to help you welcome summer into your belly.
Galettes of Greens with Goat Cheese & Marjoram
Goat cheese and herbs in a little pancake? Yes please, and keep them coming. This is so simple to make, and it sounds absolutely delicious. The wine pairing is also super simple, a no-brainer. What do you pair with goat cheese and herbs? Sauvignon Blanc.
This is a decidedly Mediterranean dish, with accents such as feta, lemon and mint that point to the Aegean. With Greek wines somewhat challenging to track down, it’s tempting to offer up a simple Grüner Veltliner with this equally simple dish. In fact, that would be a solid match, but let’s try to remain on topic.