After a long weekend visiting family in North Carolina, I am running a little behind on my cooking. That and the fact I had a dinner party on Saturday for which I have to admit I, um, made a recipe that wasn’t from "Savor the Moment." Gasp! In my defense, it was a recipe I had wanted to try for awhile - actually an adaptation of a recipe. I can’t go into detail because I am serving it next week at Bookclub. I’m hosting the meeting at my house and the book, you may ask, is Julia Child’s “My Life in France.” My plan is to make one of Julia’s recipes and one from "Savor the Moment" – and yes, in case your were wondering, there will be wine involved as well. Should be a fun night!
But I digress, back to Saturday’s dinner party. Even though the main course wasn’t from "Savor the Moment," the first course was. I chose the Baby Greens with Pears as a prelude to my experimental meal. We invited our good friends Chad & Jean who were very willing accomplices and taste-testers. They also brought some fabulous wine as well! I chose the salad because it includes some of my favorite things: pears and Gorgonzola cheese. I was also intrigued by the vinaigrette which called for walnut oil, cinnamon and balsamic vinegar. I had never used walnut oil before so I did purchase that but I already had everything else in my pantry. After assembling the vinaigrette the salad is really a cinch to prepare. Be sure to purchase your pears a day or so ahead so they are nice and ripe. I used the prepackaged Baby Romaine mix at Publix which was sooo convenient. As a pairing for the salad, we had a Trimbach Reserve Pinot Gris, a white wine from Alsace, France. This dish needed something with a little sweetness to it to complement the tangy deliciousness of the cheese. A Riesling would also be a wonderful choice.
Baby Greens with Pears (pg. 121)
2004 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, Alsace, France
I am happy to report the top secret, experimental dish turned out to be a big success and will definitely be making an appearance next week at Bookclub. The flavors of the salad also melded together beautifully: the sweetness of the pears together with the salty, tanginess of the cheese = fabulous! I loved the flavor of the walnut oil in the dressing too – it added a rich smoky, nutty flavor to the salad. The wine was also a nice pairing with subtle flavors of honey and starfruit with nutty overtones and nice acidity. In light of the yumminess of the salad I just might have to make it next Wednesday night too – we shall see. It really is a perfect prelude to a delicious dinner with friends.