Other than being something to consume, the other thing wine and food has in common is their sheer variety. How many times have you been in the cereal aisle (which seems to run the length of football field) and become overwhelmed by decision paralysis because there are so many choices? Not only that, standing in a wine store or a wine section and getting occasionally paralyzed by all choices of Pinot Noirs in front or me is to one too many times to count.
We here at WineNight are here to put an end to all that. We’re going to pair some wines with some meal and snack recipes that are super easy to make, should you ever be in the mood for a little gastronomy, or should be hosting a wine party or, even better, your own WineNight.
The one thing this listing isn’t going to overwhelm you with hard-to-make meals or grapes or wines that are completely obscure or hard to locate. We believe in the simple and easy and good philosophy, especially when it comes to food and wine. All the below is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to treat yourself to a night done right and also to delight your senses.
These are a few of our favorite food recipes and wine pairings, but enough about us, how about you? What are your favorites to mix and match? Let us know in the comment section below!
Fig Hazelnut and Ricotta Crostinis; recipe by Spoon, Fork Bacon
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 cup part skim ricotta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon hazelnuts, lightly toasted
- 10-12 fresh figs (mission or kadota or whatever is local), cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 French or sourdough baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices and lightly toasted
- Place ricotta, hazelnuts, 1/4 cup honey, and ground cinnamon in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush figs with oil and place cut side down onto the hot surface and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, about 5-7 minutes.
- To assemble: Spread 1-2 tablespoons ricotta mixture onto each crostini and top with a grilled fig; finish with a drizzle of honey and serve.
Melon, Prosciutto, And Mozzarella Sticks: recipe by Running to the Kitchen
- Half a cantaloupe, seeds removed, scooped out into balls using a melon baller (alternatively, cut into cubes if you don’t have a melon baller)
- 6 slices of prosciutto, torn into bite sized pieces
- 5 oz. small mozzarella balls, cut in half
- handful of fresh basil
- toothpicks or kebab sticks cut down in size
- balsamic vinegar
- On each toothpick/kebab stick arrange a ball of melon, then a piece of fresh basil, a half of a mozzarella ball, another piece of basil, a piece of prosciutto, another piece of basil and finally another cantaloupe ball.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze before serving if desired. grill or grill pan over high heat.
Italian Beef Stew; recipe source: Cooking Classy
- 4 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 lbs rump roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 8 oz cremini mushroom, sliced
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving (optional)
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once hot add carrots, celery and onion and saute until lightly golden, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour mixture into a heat proof bowl and set aside.
- Place beef in a large resealable bag, add flour and season lightly with salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss well to evenly coat beef in flour. Return pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Add 1 cup broth and red wine vinegar and cook, stirring frequently while scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits on bottom, until sauce has thickened. Add remaining 3 cups beef broth, diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, bay leaves, potatoes, mushrooms and sauteed veggie mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer 3 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender.
- Stir in fresh basil and parsley. Serve warm sprinkled with Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
Roasted Eggplant Soup with Feta and Portobello Mushrooms; recipe: Foodness Gracious
- 2 eggplants halved length ways.
- 1 large portobello mushroom sliced
- 1 slices large onion cut into
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary plus extra for garnishing
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Feta cheese for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the eggplant, sliced mushroom, onion and garlic cloves on a large baking tray.
- Drizzle the olive oil all over the vegetables and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes and the eggplant can be easily pierced with a knife.
- 4 – Let the veggies cool for 5 minutes and then transfer them to your Vitamix pitcher, making sure to add only the inside part of the eggplants and no outer skin.
- Pulse the veggies for a few seconds to soften them up.
- Add the stock gradually on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Slowly add the cream and blend until the soup is lump free and smooth consistency.
- Add the cumin, oregano and rosemary, salt and black pepper.
- Blend until the herbs are well mixed through.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.
- This is also the time to add more stock if you prefer a thinner soup.
- Once the seasoning is to your liking, blend on high for about 4 minutes and you feel the pitcher become hot and you see steam rising from the inside of the pitcher.
- Once the soup is hot, pour it into your bowls and garnish with some crumbled feta cheese and more chopped rosemary.
- Serve at once.
Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa; recipe: Recipe Runner
- 4 salmon fillets
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely diced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced
- Juice of a lime
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the salsa and stir together until combined.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Oil the grill grates or spray them with cooking spray then place the salmon fillets on and grill each side for approximately 3-4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness is reached.
- Top the salmon with the strawberry salsa.