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Whole roasted cauliflower with chardonnay

Our Wine of the Week, Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards 2010 Sonoma County Chalk Hill Chardonnay ($20), is one of those wines that almost everyone can agree to like.

With its classic flavors of ripe apple, vanilla and creamy sweet spice, it pleases fans of the varietal. Yet it has enough crispness and suggestion of wet river rocks that even those who claim to follow the "ABC" rule — "anything but chardonnay" — find it refreshing and enjoyable.

At this time of year, pair the wine with wild King salmon.

To further the match, add fresh corn, either on the cob or as a simple salsa or salad.

The wine will also go quite well with Chioggia beets, seared sea scallops, lobster, crab, Gulf shrimp, mussels and pork tenderloin slathered in a mustard-ginger glaze.

Classic fettuccine Alfredo welcomes the wine alongside, and vegetarians may want to explore carrots, either roasted or in soup, and risotto, as the spicy elements of the wine merge beautifully with good carrots.

For today's recipe, I've taken inspiration from the delicious cauliflower currently available at our farmers market and from a whole roasted cauliflower dish I enjoyed at Glen Ellen Star a few weeks ago.

If you don't care for cauliflower, the technique of roasting it in a hot, dry oven could change your mind.

The process concentrates the flavors deliciously and highlights its earthy sweetness.


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