Summer Sipping

Fast forward to summer with these delicious recipes and pairings from Chef Tracey Shepos Cenami and Wine Educator Ben Fine.

The sweet, mild flavor of steamed corn with Chardonnay is a classic summer pairing.  The creamy texture of the pasta in this Corn, Fregula & Sun Gold Tomato Salad matches the elegantly layered richness of the 2018 Tidal Break Vineyard Chardonnay.

Flat iron steak can be the center of a fresh, fast meal, all made in a single pan – exactly how we prefer to cook at home in the summer!  You can even take the whole thing outside and set your skillet right on the grill, so the house stays cool and smoke-free.  Try this dish with our 2017 Bellflower Vineyard Pinot Noir to take your meal to the next level!

Corn, Fregula & Sun Gold Tomato Salad

 

Fregula looks like a grain, but it’s actually a toasted semolina pasta, similar to Israeli couscous. We love to combine it with corn kernels because the two look similar, but their textures are total opposites. The chewy fregula and the crunchy pop of the corn are a fun contrast. The recipe includes a simple technique for cooking the corn: you put the raw kernels in a colander and drain the just-cooked fregula and water right over them. That quick boiling-water bath is all the cooking fresh summer corn kernels need for a salad like this.

Wine Pairing: 2018 Tidal Break Vineyard Chardonnay

Corn, Fregula & Sun Gold Tomato Salad

Author: 
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 ears yellow corn, husks and silk removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fregula
  • 1 lb Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh purslane leaves and
  • tender stems
  • 1⁄4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. To prepare the fregula and corn: One at a time, stand each ear of corn upright on its stem end and, using a sharp knife, cut straight down between the kernels and cob to remove the kernels, rotating the ear after each cut.  Transfer the kernels to a large colander with a base and set in the sink.
  2. In a medium pot, combine 2 qt water and 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the fregula, adjust the heat to a simmer, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the fregula over the corn, allowing the hot water to drain through the kernels. Drain well and let cool to room temperature.
  4. To assemble the salad and serve: In a serving bowl, combine the fregula and corn, tomatoes, 1 cup of the purslane leaves, the chives, oil, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt and toss to mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup purslane leaves on top.

 

Seared Flat Iron Steak with Spigarello & Cherry Tomatoes

Flat iron steak is very flavorful, and we think pan-searing is the best way to keep it tender and juicy. Leftover seared steak can be chilled and sliced thinly for salads. It’s great tossed with arugula, juicy summer tomatoes, good olive oil, and burrata or crumbled blue cheese.

Wine Pairing: 2017 Bellflower Vineyard Pinot Nor

Seared Flat Iron Steak with Spigarello & Cherry Tomatoes

Author: 
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (11⁄2-lb) flat iron steak
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb spigarello, thick stems removed (about 10 oz cleaned)
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 lb cherry tomatoes
  • Sel gris, for finishing

Instructions

  1. To prepare the steak: Remove the steak from the refrigerator. Pat dry with a paper towel and season each side with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat the steak dry again with a paper towel and sprinkle lightly on both sides with kosher salt.
  2. To sear the steak: Preheat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the rice oil, swirl the pan to distribute evenly, and then let heat for about 1 minute, until the oil begins to smoke. Place the beef in the pan and press down gently with a spatula for 1 minute. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness. Flip the steak and cook for 4 to 6 minutes longer for medium rare (127°F on an instant-read thermometer).  Transfer the steak to a cutting board and season with salt and pepper if desired. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while you cook the spigarello.
  3. To cook the spigarello: Pour off the steak oil from the pan, give the pan a wipe, then reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Let the oil heat for 1 minute. Add the spigarello and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Move the spigarello to one side of the pan and slide that side of the pan off the heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the cherry tomatoes to the other side of the pan still over the heat and cook, shaking the pan slightly to turn them, for about 2 minutes, until the skins pop and the tomatoes are warm.
  4. To serve: Cut the steak against the grain into 4 uniform pieces. Divide the spigarello and tomatoes evenly among individual serving plates and top with the steak. Pour any remaining steak juices over each serving, then sprinkle with the sel gris and serve.

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