Monday, April 25, 2011

taking it outside


What an unexpected surprise Easter day turned out to be. Rain was in the forecast, so it seemed unimaginable that we would be eating out of doors that day, especially on the east end of Long Island where it is traditionally too nippy at this time of year to contemplate such a venture.
But we did!
 The tiny potatoes garnished with slow roasted tomatoes tasted as good as they looked.

There is no shortage of wonderful cooks in my family. Everyone contributed something and happily there was a lot to eat!  One of my brothers-in-law is a professional chef and he was unstoppable in the kitchen this year cranking out meticulously prepped roasted Artic Char in addition to the potatoes pictured above. My very hardworking sister-in-law took time out from her pressured schedule to delight us with perfectly crafted onion tarts and my uptown sister made a magnificent pastry covered vegetable torte filled with ricotta and swisschard (I've got to get that recipe). 
One of the loveliest dishes of the day was the green salad tossed with roasted yellow peppers that my brother, the host, served up. It was inspired, yet simple to prepare, in fact almost so simple I nearly dismissed it as too obvious. And yet...
Vegetables roasting on the grill. The red peppers, baby carrots and radishes were served as a side dish. The yellow and orange peppers topped a green salad.
What a brilliant display of color for the Easter table! This salad was fantastically delicious and  satisfying.

After eating huge platefuls of celebratory holiday food I feel as if I shall never have the need to eat again. But tomorrow is another day.

Green Salad with Roasted Peppers
1 yellow and 1 orange bell pepper cut into strips
2 Tbs. olive oil
10 oz.s mixed baby greens
1 small head of raddichio cut into ribbons
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
6 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Toss the peppers in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. They can be roasted over a hot grill or in a hot 400 degree oven, in a flat layer on a roasting pan. Grill or roast the peppers for 15 minutes, until softend and charred in spots. Remove from heat and allow the peppers to cool to room temperature. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to coat the lettuce greens with the oil and vinegar. Top the salad with the roasted peppers and serve.

Love all the beautiful colors! Last summer I fell in love with grilled raddichio. Deb, how do you think grilling the raddicchio  would work for this salad? I'll have to test it out!

I just did an email promotion this morning for a white wine that would actually be perfect for this salad. Chateau l'Hoste Blanc 2009 is a delightul white Bordeaux from an outstanding vintage. Plus, it retails for $12.99 which makes it a wonderful bargain! It might be tough to find, but there are many white Bordeaux in the same price range which are equally as delicious! 2009 was such a spectacular vintage that it was hard for a Chateau to make a bad wine. Definitely a vintage to take advantage of - there are an infinite amount of bargains out there.
White Bordeaux are typically a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The Chateau l'Hoste Blanc includes Muscadelle as well. I love this wine! Especially for Spring! It's bright, fresh, and has wonderful acidity and balance. Perfect for a lovely salad!  In fact, this wine would be incredible with any of the dishes Deb mentioned above. (speaking of those dishes...would love the recipe for the vegetable torte!) For those who eat fish, this wine also makes a wonderful match for sushi and shellfish. But don't hesitate to enjoy a white Bordeaux by itself! I particularly enjoy having a glass of this type of wine while I am preparing a meal...especially outdoors while barbequing!

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