Wine & Food: Celebrate Spring Recipes

Lighter textures and delicate, green flavours: these spring recipes embody the season! Keep the bold reds in the cellar and accompany the food with refreshing white wines.

Spring Recipes to Pair with Fresh Whites:

Vignarola

White Bean Vegetable Stew

Poached Halibut in a Lemon-Herb Broth

Pasta Primavera

Vignarola 

Vignarola is a vegetable dish from Rome that screams ‘It’s spring! It’s spring!’ Use the freshest, greenest vegetables you can find for the brightest result.

Serves 4

What You’ll Need

  • 2 large or 4 small artichokes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 160 gr pancetta, cubed
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 100 gr green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 300 gr fresh garden peas
  • 300 gr fresh fava beans
  • handful of chopped fresh green herbs such as mint, marjoram, parsley

What to do

  1. Clean the artichokes: cut the stem short, remove the outer, harder leaves and remove the hairy ‘beard’ in the core. Cut off a good part of the spikes as well, about 1.5 centimeters, leaving only the soft, edible flower. Cut the artichoke vertically into strips, keeping the leaves at the heart intact.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the pancetta over low heat. After a few minutes, add the spring onions. Add the artichoke strips, the green beans, the wine and broth and let it all simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the peas, fava beans and fresh herbs and braise for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender, but not overcooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

What to Pair

Pair Vignarola with Barba Pecorino

White Bean Vegetable Stew

The second of our featured spring recipes, this vegan dish is hearty without being heavy. Prepare it in advance and add the last touches of brightness just before dinner. 

Serves 4

What you’ll need

  • 750 gr (3 cups) dried white beans, soaked overnight, drained OR 3 cans beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small-diced
  • 1 large carrot, small-diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 l vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon, other half cut into wedges
  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, minced

What to do

  1. In a large thick-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion with the carrot and celery until they begin to soften. 
  2. Add the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the beans. 
  3. Add the broth, 1 litre water, herbs and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover. Simmer for around 30 minutes, then add the mushrooms. 
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes more, until the beans are tender and soft. At this point, check often to see if the beans need more water. 
  5. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley, and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Serving tip: This stew is delicious with toasted garlic bread.

What to Pair

Pair White Bean Vegetable Stew with Nelias Godello

 

Poached Halibut in a Lemon-Herb Broth

One of our favourite spring recipes is easy too! Poaching is a simple way to prepare white fish, with a broth that imparts a delicate flavour. Serve this with fresh green beans and crusty bread to mop up the tasty liquid. 

What you’ll need

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 l broth (vegetable or fish)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 10 black peppercorns (whole)
  • 4 halibut filets
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

What to do

  1. Zest 2 of the lemons and juice them. Add zest and juice to a frying pan with a lid. Add stock, broth, garlic, thyme and peppercorns to the skillet and bring to a boil. 
  2. Season fish filets with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Cover with the lid and turn the heat off. Let the fish sit in the broth until it is cooked through (9-12 minutes) – the flesh should be firm and no longer translucent. Transfer the filets to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. 
  3. Sieve the poaching broth and transfer the liquid back to the frying pan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the broth over 4 bowls, then place a filet in each bowl. Cut 1 lemon into wedges and garnish each bowl with a wedge, some capers and fresh parsley. 

What to Pair

Pair Poached Halibut with Lemon-Herb Broth with Stafford Lodge Sauvignon Blanc

Pasta Primavera

pasta primavera

Despite its Italian-sounding name, this retro spring recipe was presumably conceived in Canada in the late 1970s – a mix of butter, cream and cheese with lightly cooked vegetables and pasta. 

What You’ll Need

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, hard parts removed
  • 150 gr (1 cup) green peas
  • 400 g fusilli (or other pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 gr (2 cups) mushrooms 
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 100 ml chicken broth
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 150 ml (around ½ cup) heavy cream
  • 100 gr grated parmigiano reggiano/pecorino

What to do

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the asparagus for 1-2 minutes, then take the spears out with a slotted spoon or tongs. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. In the same water, boil the broccoli florets for 3 minutes, then remove them and let them cool. If you’re using fresh peas, cook these for 2-3 minutes as well. 
  2. Dump the water, then bring another large pot of generously salted water to a boil (using the vegetable water will impart an off-flavour). Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. 
  3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the mushrooms over high heat. Add butter, garlic and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the green vegetables, the chicken broth and bring to a boil. 
  4. Add the fresh herbs, pasta, cheese and ⅔ of the cream. Stir to combine, add the rest of the cream if the sauce seems too dry. Finish off with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Note: you can also use diced zucchini or green beans. Remember to cook them separately for a few minutes in the boiling water, just like the other green vegetables.

What to Pair

Pair Pasta Primavera with Château du Vieux Parc Cuvée l’Héritage Blanc

Love These Spring Recipes?

Members get access to recipes, wine pairings and exclusive pricing in our online store, not to mention the amazing selection of wine they receive direct to their door each month!

%d bloggers like this: