Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bounties of Summer -- Pair This Dish!

Thanks to Kirts for the awesome garden fixins this summer! Flavorful cooking isn't hard, but it's so much easier with fresh, tangy and tasty ingredients. My recent favorite? Cherry tomatoes -- of any color. An easy idea if you're tired of eating them straight? Put your cherry tomatoes in a baking dish with a liberal drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (I start at 350 then up it to 450) until the tomatoes start to break down (about 30 minutes). Add more EVOO, salt, pepper, and some balsamic vinegar depending on the acidity of your tomatoes and how tangy/sweet you like your sauce. Serve over pasta of choice (I like good old fashioned spaghetti) and garnish with cheese. (I like freshly grated parm and Capriole goat cheese.) (Don't forget to save your parm rinds for soup.)

I over-roasted my last batch and after I added more olive oil to "reconstitute" it a bit, I was still blown away at the intense tangy summer flavors. You could mix this roasted tomato mixture with pesto or goat cheese for an easy summer dip. Or add serve it over arugula and loads of fresh sweet corn off the cob. Or puree it in the blender and add more oil for a blow-your-guests-away salad dressing!

So, Pair this Dish! High acidity, some sweetness, lots of tang! Wine recommendations? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


M. Zane Grey said...

The traditional choice would be an acidic Italian wine. Di Majo Norante is a very nice everyday wine that can pair with tomato sauce-based dishes or be drunk by itself, and it's available about everywhere from Trader Joe's to Grapevine Cottage for about $10 a bottle. If you'd like to go up a notch or two in quality, Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico is quite good.

It's when you add other components — goat cheese, for example — when wine pairing gets interesting. I normally think of goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc, but blended with the tomato sauce you describe I'd be inclined to try an unoaked Spanish red, like the Los Dos. If you were to add sausages to your sauce, I'd try a Malbec.

Have some friends bring over a variety of wines and experiment!

hislip56 said...

Oh my goodness, this is a wonderful recipe. I don't know if you've ever tried it, but Hare Hollow
( makes a wonderful fig date balsamic that was the perfect thing for this! Thanks!