I’m blessed to have friends who love to eat, cook, and DRINK!! The husband and I won’t say no to food and wine. =) A couple weeks ago, our friend Steve invited a few people to his place for a Spring Wine Luncheon. Being a wine connoisseur/collector and a well traveled person, he’s definitely knowledgeable about a lot of things, food included and of course he knows his wine!
Steve put out a well-planned fabulous menu that puts me to shame. Pear seem to be the “mascot” of that day’s lunch. I can never confirm my party menu until hours prior to the party making last minute changes as necessary. Here’s what we were pampered with :
1) Assorted cheese platter with candied walnuts and imported crackers. He brought out 4 very different cheese for us to try. Goat cheese, Brie, Piave and a Candied Ginger and Mango Cheese from England. My favorite was the Piave, an Italian cheese. The Brie, a soft French cheese was my second favorite. The Candied Ginger & Mango Cheese was my third favorite. It was definitely different from the many cheeses I’ve tried in the past. A little too sweet for me. The goat cheese however was something I never liked. I tried it, and still did not like the taste of goat’s milk. Blood Orange Mimosa was a yummy drink to get the afternoon going!
2) Pear me up - Bosc pear salad: Bosc pear, peeled, cored and halved, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and rosemary, baked until soft, lightly coated with
maple syrup plum sauce. Served chilled along side a spring mix salad with balsamic vinaigrette and blue cheese. Apparently, Steve cannot find his maple syrup, so he got creative and used plum sauce. It turned out yummy. The pear was soft, sweet and flavored with rosemary. The pear and the salad was a great combination; sweet and tangy. Unfortunately I took a pass on the cheese and had the hubby finish my cheese. I would however learn to bake this baked pear though.
The salad was paired with a Robert Sinskey rosé from Napa Valley. The wine was slightly sweeter than the usual rosé I’ve had in the past. Very refreshing, crisp and definitely paired pleasantly with the salad.
3) Eggselent planting - Roasted eggplant marinara: eggplant, sliced in strips, with eggwash, sautéd in light olive oil until tender, arranged in layers in a casserole dish, drenched in marinara , topped with mozzarella, parmigiano and romano, and baked. Served with fresh French baguettes.
Ahhhhh… this was SOOO GOOD! This was like Eggplant Parmesan, done differently. It has a rustic feel that gave me a warm fuzzy feel. Comfort food at its best. Eggplant was thinly sliced and was tender. The loads full of marinara sauce was very inviting especially with those chunks of crusty baguettes in front of me. I did not waste any single bit served and wasn’t shy to use my hands. I soaked up all the sauce with the bread and was wishing I had more!!! I could seriously eat 2 servings of this!
This was served with a Chianti, a red wine I’ve learned to love recently. I was never quite a red wine person, but I’ve been drinking quite a bit of Chianti lately. =) I forgot how this tasted as I was too caught up with my entree!
4) Peared up again - Poached vanilla pear: bosc pear, peeled and cored, poached in Riesling with fresh vanilla bean. Served chilled with reduced poaching sauce. Who can say no to pear poached in wine and vanilla beans?? Although it looked very simple, the pear was light and delicious. I ate the poached pear with some of the parching sauce. It does not need anything else.
This was served with Tokaji, a Hungarian dessert wine. Mm…. sweet wines are my favorite. Enough said.
Wine Luncheon was great! Thanks, Steve for having us over and sharing your expertise with us!