So to break up the monotony of this hot summer weather, I decided to kind of go with the flow and find something light and refreshing to eat while I was relaxing with one of my Summer Reads. It was a hot, muggy day when I felt my stomach rumble and thought “Well, I’m only in the mood for a salad,” but I didn’t want a boring kind of thrown-together salad. Besides, salads are so easy to pair with wine (Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are staples) and I wanted a bit of a challenge.
So I found this recipe over at Minimalist Baker called a Vegan Nicoise Salad. I’m a sucker for French recipes (it’s the francaise in me, I’m guessing) and was so, so excited to have something different to eat and plan for. I have never had butter lettuce, so this was actually a really fun recipe to make and the homemade dressing has become a household favorite.
I paired this with potato salad (instead of putting the potatoes on the salad itself) and made my guy some ribs. Together we ate with some glasses of Rosé from Charles and Charles. Enchante, if you please.
The recipe for the salad was super easy:
Nicoise Olives (I used Greek because for some reason my grocery store doesn’t carry Nicoise…???)
Chickpeas (mashed with Dill, Maple Syrup, and Mustard… seriously, SO SO good!!! This is to replace the tuna in typical Nicoise salads)
Green Beans (boiled real quick to take out the rawness)
And the special Homemade dressing (click on the link above for the ingredients- it’s incredible)
I paired this with a Rosé thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’ll pair well with the chickpeas. Rosé’s go great with fish, so I thought- tuna is usually too strong for a Rosé, so it should work well with something milder but just as hearty (chickpeas), right?
Funnily enough, the Rosé paired best with the ribs that night. It’s sweet, strawberry flavors brought out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Paired with the salad, the wine had some good, light flavors to it, but the acidity in the dressing brought out the acidity in the wine. It made it kinda pucker-y which isn’t a good thing…
The wine, overall, was a beautiful, light, fruity wine that had a ton of flavor on its own. I would totally drink this wine again and make this salad again, but not pair them together. This salad would have paired better with a Chardonnay for sure- to cut that acidity and balance out the creamy butter lettuce. I really think that would have been a better pairing.
But, we live and learn! And I genuinely think you guys should try out the recipe on Minimalist Baker. They are an amazing power-couple running that site and they have some brilliant recipes.
Summer is the perfect time for Rosés, so I think I’ll try another pairing just to see what happens! What do you guys think? Are you guys super into these dinner recipes or do you want me to work on some dessert/dessert wine pairings, too?
And as always, until next time my reading winos!