Thursday, February 11, 2010

a snow story

Snow day. Despite the travel inconveniences and the SHOVELING, it forces us to slow down and that can be a good thing. The day at home got me looking around for a little splash of brightness to break up all that white.
Even the vegetables I had on hand were white.

No point looking out back for flavor, my herb garden is buried.

A gift from a friend who had just returned from California would do the trick.
These juicy, thin skinned lemons are always welcome in the kitchen. They will bring a happy zing to just about every dish. I like to add them to the roasting pan to caramelize with other vegetables. Today I chopped up one of the lemons and some cauliflower and tossed everything with a pinch of curry powder and enough olive oil to coat the vegetables.

Mario Battali's rustic Italian cooking inspired me to start using the green leaves of the cauliflower as well as the florets. The cauliflower roasts at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

The lemons add a tart sweetness and a bit of color to the vegetables. This is a simple pleasure for a slow, cold day. Save a slice for your tea and snuggle down to watch the snow fall. 

Well, this is a tough one, I must admit! Probably because Deb's cup of tea looks like that would be the perfect match to this comforting dish. It just looks so satisfying sitting there alongside the cauliflower. I never thought of using the cauliflower greens - I must try that! I didn't even know they were edible! I guess that's why I'm the wine writer and Deb's the chef.

Deb's is a simple, beautiful dish. So, I am going to suggest something equally simple and delightful for the wine - Vinho Verde from Portugal. Typically low in alcohol content, this is the way to go. And, what makes it even better is it's incredibly inexpensive pricetag! Vinho Verde can typically be found for $6-$10.

These crisp, aromatic wines come from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, and are really known as Portugal's best whites. Made from the Alvarinho (Spain's Albarino), they typically display flavors of citrus fruit and green apple, and are slightly effervescent. Vinho Verdes pair particularly well with salads too. Be sure to drink these wines if you buy them, and don't hold onto them. They are specifically made for early drinking. In fact, "Vinho Verde" means "green wine", a reference to the wine's youth.

The lemon in Deb's dish will bring out the best in the wine - the clean, fresh, crisp flavors. This is a match made in heaven! (Next to Deb's cup of tea with a slice of lemon!)

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