Pairing of the Day: December 20-24, 2010
Creamy Beet Dip with White Crudités
With its psychedelic color, this hot-pink beet dip is fun to serve with white and pale green vegetables like cauliflower and fennel. A little bit of honey and vinegar amps up the beet flavor.
Pairing: Earthy, fruity sparkling rosé from Burgundy: NV Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut.
Börek is a Middle Eastern pastry filled with anything from vegetables to cheese and ground meat. For this version, Meltem Conant sautés eggplant, peppers and tomatoes and bakes them in layers of phyllo. It's a great option for a vegetarian main course.
Pairing: Light-bodied Gamay: 2008 Grosjean Gamay or 2009 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie.
Salt-Baked Leg of Lamb with Olive Oil Potatoes
For this dish, Corey Lee sources lamb from the Northern California coast that feed predominantly on salty grasses. He likes cooking the meat in a salt crust to echo its naturally briny edge, then garnishing the dish with succulents like sea grapes and sea beans. Baking any good-quality leg of lamb in an herby salt crust at home makes it deliciously tasty and tender, without the need for garnishes.
Pairing: Medium-bodied Italian red: 2007 Calea Nero d'Avola.
Grilled Quail with Goji Berries and Pine Nuts
Corey Lee uses Chinese dates, also called jujubes, in this elegant riff on a classic Chinese combination of poultry, fruit and nuts. Instead of the dates, look for goji berries, which are also a dried, red fruit.
Pairing: Spicy, black cherry–scented Pinot Noir: 2008 Penner-Ash Willamette Valley.
Slow-Roasted Pork Loin with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze
Scott Conant says this recipe is a perfect reflection of his heritage: The molasses harks back to his father's New England background, and the balsamic vinegar is a tribute to his mother's Italian roots. The marinade is a syrupy glaze that Conant slathers over the pork so it can soak up the flavor before roasting.
Pairing: Velvety Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: 2007 Boscarelli or 2007 Avignonesi.