Many of us have the resolution of healthful eating on our new year checklist. Unfortunately, many mistakenly assume the best food pairings for wine are limited to hearty meats, rich stews and bountiful pasta. But greens and vegetables go well with wines.
The key to success lies in the cooking method.
Greens (turnip, mustard, collard and kale): The key to this pairing is adding a little complexity to the flavor. A little smoke and spice take these inexpensive antioxidant-rich vegetables to a new level. Adding a bit of stock, onions and/or sneaking in that piece of bacon enhances their ability to pair with wines.
Cauliflower: Think of this yummy vegetable with a new attitude. Instead of steaming or boiling, try a quick pan-searing or roasting in the oven to bring out its wine-friendly earthiness.
Broccoli raab: This gem is one of my favorites. The best wine pairings I have had were when it was simply pan-seared with garlic and olive oil.
Endive and radicchio: This duo is often ignored or limited only to salads. But on the grill with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, these nutrient-packed leaves are transformed.
Brussels sprouts: Again, skip the steam bath and opt to roast them in a hot oven, dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper, to get a different texture that makes a perfect earthy wine pairing. If the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, use an extra light hand as this ingredient can compete with the wine.
- 2014 Broadbent Vinho Verde, Portugal (about $9 retail)
- NV Segura Viudas Brut Rose, Spain (about $11 retail)
- 2014 Michele Chiarlo Gavi, Italy (about $28 retail)
- 2014 Trimbach Gewurztraminer, France (about $29 retail)