Salad with wine? Surely you jest

No, in fact, I’m dead serious. After playing tennis (okay, you can’t really call whacking a ball against the outside wall of the local elementary school’s gym playing tennis, but it’s a start, people! Work with me. Maybe if I do this long enough I’ll be good enough to play a game with a real live person some day), I don’t want to replenish the calories I’ve just burned so a salad is a brilliant meal choice. I’m also pretty hot and thirsty when I get back from roofing balls so a crisp, cold glass of white wine is indeed on my list of needs.

While old-school sommeliers eschew serving wine with salads at all, there are others who agree with me that it’s possible to match wine with a bowl of well-dressed greens. Since the dominant flavour of almost all salads is sourness, simple wines, either red or white, with high acid content are usually the best choices to serve with salad. (In other words, cheap stuff is the way to go when serving wine with salad).

Generally speaking, grapes grown in cooler regions (Canada, Germany, Oregon, etc) create wines with a fairly acidic character. If a wine and salad match is appropriate, the acid flavours in both items will be cancelled, letting the other flavours in both the drink and the food emerge to be enjoyed.

This radish slaw (made with garden fresh Ontario radishes, natch!) is delicious with an ice cold glass of off dry Ontario Riesling. Honest.

Radish Slaw with Miso Dressing

2 tbsp (30 mL) rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) white miso paste
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
11/2 tsp (7 mL) minced ginger root
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh coriander
4 cups (1L) thinly julienned large radishes
1 cup (250 mL) thinly julienned celery
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black or toasted white sesame seeds

Whisk rice wine vinegar with soy sauce in a large bowl. Add the miso and whisk until well combined. Stir in the sugar and ginger. Whisking, drizzle in the sesame oil and vegetable oil until well combined. Stir in coriander.

Add radishes and celery to the bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. Makes 6 servings.


8 Responses to Salad with wine? Surely you jest

  1. I eat salad. I’m Canadian, so acidic wines are readily available…I think you’ve just found a way to get a lot of Canucks to up their veggie intake! Maybe this will change my mind about Riesling…

  2. Cheryl says:

    That salad looks completely refreshing, and I bet you’re right — with a crisp glass of wine it would taste even better. Thanks for the info on salad/wine pairing. I love learning new things here!

  3. Jen Melo says:

    Hmm…I never thought of enjoying a glass of wine with my salad but it completely makes sense to me now.! Thanks for the suggestion!


  4. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for your comments one and all!


  5. […] if you’re curious about what I did with all that daikon, I tossed it with black sesame seeds and this dressing to make the base for a Chinese barbecued pork salad. […]

  6. Tea says:

    I think I know what I’m having for dinner! Thanks for the link, looks delish.

    Wine included:-)

  7. […] to eat a bowl of veggies: •    Curry Vinaigrette •    Creamy Sesame Dressing •    Miso Dressing •    Lemony Dill […]

  8. […] admit it. I’m hooked again. This time it isn’t a tangy Asian-inspired slaw or a wanton lasagna that I’m enticed to make over and over. No, my new passion is so very, very […]

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