Ringing in Rosé Season, Part Two

Now that you know all about the various methods of production and styles of rosé, you probably want to drink it every night of summer- and who can blame you? Here are some of my favorite recipes for pairing with rosé (apart from just a warm summer Saturday afternoon, which ALWAYS works).

Greek Salad (my way- serves 2 as a side or one as a main)

greek salad and roseThis salad and a glass of rosé always transports me to the Mediterranean. If you’ve got extra crisp vegetables lying around such as asparagus, radish, or carrots, feel free to throw them in (try to make the pieces the same size as the tomatoes and cucumber). The more colorful the better. I think mint should be used way more in savory dishes- it adds a lovely brightness. 

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or chopped heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (optional- I live with an olive-hater so usually leave them out. If that is sacrilege to you I’m sorry. It was to me too, but somehow I’ve managed to survive.)

1/2 cup english cucumber, halved and sliced to make half moons

1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion or green onion

1.5 oz (about 1/8 cup) good feta cheese (go for one that is a big block still in the salty brine), crumbled

1/8 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

Juice from one lemon

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Combine lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and whisk while adding olive oil to emulsify.

Combine tomatoes, olives, cucumber, onion, mint, and feta in a medium bowl and add salt and pepper.Drizzle with about half of the dressing, toss and taste. If it needs more dressing add more. I find that without the olives you’ll need another good sprinkling of salt. Serve with a mint leaf to garnish.


Pan Seared Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lemon (Serves Three to Four)

salmonExcuse me while I go on a quick Pacific Northwesterner rant: I encourage you to buy wild-caught salmon for this recipe (and always) because while those farmed Atlantic salmon in the seafood case may look shinier and plumper, they’ve been fed on corn, while the wild caught stuff ate what salmon are supposed to eat- algae, plankton, smaller fish, etc- and worked their muscles swimming through the icy cold waters of the northern Pacific. This contributes to their beautiful red color and buttery, rich flavor with half the fat and more calcium, zinc, and iron. They’re worth every extra penny!

2 lb wild-caught salmon filet

3/4 cup roughly chopped light herbs such as dill, basil, parsley, mint, or chives

Extra-virgin olive oil

One lemon, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. Season the salmon filet with salt and pepper on both skin and meat side. In a large cast iron or oven proof skillet, heat a few glugs of olive oil over medium high heat and coat the bottom of the pan. When slightly smoking, put the salmon filet in skin side up. Cook the filet for 5 minutes or so until you are able to easily lift the filet off the pan when you stick a spatula underneath. Flip the filet so the skin side is down and cook for another five minutes. Lay the lemon slices over the whole of the filet and sprinkle the herbs over. Put the salmon filet in the oven and bake until it can be flaked with a fork, another 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. Allow to rest for five minutes or so prior to serving, then slice crosswise into smaller filets and serve with the herbs and lemons on top.

Side note: The skin should be nice and crispy after having been prepared this way so eat that too! It’s delicious, sort of like a brinier bacon, and holds a lot of good omega-3s.

Prosciutto and White Bean Crostini- great, pretty quick appetizer. The acid in the rosé cuts the fattiness of the prosciutto nicely. 

1 15-oz can white (cannelini) beans, drained and rinsed

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for the bread

salt and pepper

4 oz good quality sliced prosciutto, slices torn in approximately half pieces (no need to be super scientific here, you just want to get nice slivers)

1 French style baguette, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices and lay across one or two baking sheets. Brush a little olive oil onto each slice and put into the oven when preheated. Bake until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes, remove from the oven, and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine white beans, garlic, olive oil, and some salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper, and a little more olive oil if needed, to taste.

Spread a couple tablespoons of white bean spread on each baguette slice and top with a sliver of prosciutto. Grind some black pepper directly on top of each piece and serve.

A few others I can’t claim…

Perfect Roast Chicken– Nobody can beat Ina, so why try?

Baked Fontina Dip– Ina just kills it every time, doesn’t she? 

Bouillabaisse– A classic pairing for Provençal Rosé from one of my favorite Seattle chefs.

The general rules here are:

-high acid wines cut the richness of creamy and fatty dishes nicely

-the slightly higher body of rosé versus white wines pairs nicely with what I’ll call medium rich meats and seafood, like the chicken, bouillabaisse, and salmon

-crisper rosés make a nice pairing for light sides and appetizers and the fruitiness balances salt and garlic

Cheers, and enjoy the rest of rosé season! 




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