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Citrus salad with Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc


Our Wine of the Week, Edna Valley Vineyard 2011 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($15), is as refreshing as a citrus orchard on a cool winter morning. As you lift the glass, a bouquet of grapefruit zest and orange flowers envelops you. On the palate, those aromas resolve into flavors of sweet Ruby grapefruit, fragrant pomelo and tangy Meyer lemon.

There's also a plushness to the wine, a richness that moves one's attention from citrus to stone fruit, the season's first peaches, perhaps, or ripe nectarines.

This wine is an easy quaffer with almost any seafood and especially oysters on the half shell topped with a little grapefruit mignonette. Bay scallops, sea scallops, petrale sole, baby shrimp and skate wing are all flattered by this wine. It's delicious with spaghetti al vongole and scrumptious with chilled Dungeness crab dressed with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon.

Because of the wine's lush qualities, you can also enjoy it with chicken -- simple roasted chicken is an ideal match -- and with pork, especially pork tenderloin with a grapefruit marmalade glaze.

The wine is excellent with green vegetables, from asparagus and raw kale salads to sauteed sugar snap peas. Vietnamese noodle salads ("bun")Thai larb (salads with shredded meat) and Southeast Asian salad rolls are excellent matches, too.

For today's recipe, I'm taking inspiration from the wonderful citrus available at farmers markets right now. I like this salad best with pomelo and if you feel like tackling it, do so, though its segments tend to be less even than grapefruit segments. It takes some doing to extract them.

Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts and Arugula

Makes 3 to 4 servings

2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned (see Note below)

1 orange, preferably Cara Cara, peeled and sectioned

1 Meyer lemon, peeled and sectioned

-- Black pepper in a mill

3 generous handfuls small arugula

-- Kosher salt

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil or toasted peanut oil

4 ounces fresh chevre, such as chabis, broken into chunks

? cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted

Put the grapefruit, orange and lemon into a small bowl, season with a few turns of black pepper, stir and set aside briefly.

Put the arugula into a medium bowl, season lightly with salt, toss, drizzle the hazelnut or peanut oil over the greens and toss again. Divide among individual plates.

Spoon the citrus and its juices over the arugula and scatter the chevre and hazels on top. Season lightly with salt and a few turns of black pepper and serve immediately.

Note: To make citrus segments, cut off both ends of the fruit and set it upright on your work surface. Hold the fruit steady with one hand, and with the other hand use a sharp knife to slice off the peel, cutting downward, following the curve of the fruit, all the way through the membrane. The fruit should be completely free of white pith. Now, hold the fruit in the palm of your hand, with a bowl underneath to catch drippings. Slice close to each membrane to loosen each segment, which will gently slip out. Squeeze the membrane to remove any remaining juice.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.

E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.