Pair with salty snacks and raw shellfish.
2012 Medici Ermete Quercioli Reggiano Secco Lambrusco ($12) Excellent Lambruscos like this one offer bubbles
plus the backbone and
fruit of a red wine.
NV Zardetto Spumante Rosé ($17) Prosecco producer Fabio Zardetto turned to the little-known Raboso Veronese grape variety for this currant-scented bottling.
2012 Bellenda San Fermo Brut Prosecco ($19) Bright nectarine notes and an exotic spiciness make this Prosecco far more interesting than many on the market.
2011 Miguel Torres Chile Santa Digna Estelado ($20)
The Torres family produces this crisp sparkler from grapes purchased under
Fair Trade standards.
NV Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut ($22) There’s an appealing, toasty richness to this California bottling. Though it’s pale gold in hue, it’s almost entirely made from Pinot Noir.
Related: Champagne Guide
Light Summer Wines
Terrific Wine Cocktails
The Why Guys
Iconoclastic restaurant pro Jason Hammel (Chef and Owner of Lula Cafe, Chicago) questions conventional wisdom to push the dining scene forward.
Why should we expect recipes to turn out the same every time?
I had a grandmother who could really bake. Her lard-soft pumpkin cookies would greet me at the door, always tasting exactly the same. But their consistency didn’t become a marvel until she died, and I was left to my own devices with a recipe on an index card. Not one of my batches tasted the way I remembered. I soon realized that the recipe alone would never bring back a flavor I had lost. And it got me thinking about my life as a chef. Were recipes necessary? In my kitchens, hcooks always carry a notebook with them. Inside are lists of ingredients, reading like poetry: Leeks, melted/Riesling/goat butter/chopped dill. These become sauces and vinaigrettes. They are guides and inspirations, meant to be explored. Following a chef’s vision is what teaches young cooks to taste and learn and interact with ingredients. An over-wintered leek will not behave the same as a hot summer leek; it won’t need the same amount of wine, butter or dill. Instead of writing down measurements, we should teach how to explore the craft of cooking with our senses. When I imagine my cookbook, I see words and images, not cups and ounces. I would write my grandmother’s cookie recipe this way: Creamed sugar and lard/1 small can pumpkin, 3 eggs, some nutmeg/A simple frosting/Lined in parchment in a red Tupperware container almost out of reach/Sun coming in from a mountain road/The cookies baked gently, remaining soft, so that they stick to your fingers and you haveto lick them off, one by one.
Related: How to Become an Intuitive Cook
Famous Chefs Get Nostalgic About Summer Foods
Favorite Cookie Recipes
Here, three things to do with all those summer herbs.
Air-Dry: At Carbone, Mario Carbone and co-chef Rich Torrisi scatter fresh oregano on sheet trays. Placed on top of warm ovens, the herbs dry overnight. “Dried oregano is an important ingredient for Carbone," says Mario. "It’s nostalgic, like the restaurant itself. It’s in everybody’s kitchen cabinet across the country, but by drying fresh oregano ourselves, we’re elevating the experience. You taste the flavor that you recognize, but in a much sharper way.”
Microwave: Pastry chef Aaron Russell at Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene dries basil, sorrel and mint. “I nuke them in 30-second bursts, then grind them for an intense dust to mix with sugar.”
Salt-Pack: To make herb salts, chef Jeff Mahin of Hollywood’s Stella Barra layers salt, chives and dill on a sheet tray, then dries them overnight in a 120° oven.
Related: Cooking with Herbs
Best New Chefs 2012 Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone
Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
As Thomas Hyll wrote in his of 1593, “...[strawberries] are much eaten at all men's tables in sommer time with wine and sugar.” While cream is the traditional English accompaniment, elsewhere in Europe crème fraîche, or sour cream, is preferred. In Italy, red wine and sugar seems to be everywhere. I developed this recipe after years of enjoying wild berries served in this fashion at Trattoria Sostanza in Florence. I top the macerated berries with the frozen granita or serve them separately. SEE RECIPE »
See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures
Related: Cooking with Strawberries
Cool Food for Hot Weather