Do you remember when I told you about our backyard makeover? Well, here’s a little preview.
There’s still work to be done, which I’m quite excited about (I miss the days I don’t get to “play” with the power tools. Who would have thought?), but for now, it’s safe to entertain on.
Food and wine taste best al fresco, especially when shared with good company. Saying that, I believe it’s time to break this deck in!
Today, Ruffino, makers of Italian wine, have provided the wine to pair with this unfussy, summertime appetizer recipe.
Crisp, chilled Ruffino Wines Prosecco and Pinot Grigio not only look handsome on the deck, but match well with a simple summertime favourite, grilled vegetables, here, paired with salty whipped feta. And there are many more dishes these wines combine beautifully with.
I recommend starting your meal with sparkling, and so do many wine experts. The creamy bubbles cut the richness of classically saltier, oilier appetizers. ‘Extra Dry’ prosecco is sweeter than those labelled ‘Brut,’ so go for your personal preference. Ruffino prosecco is an alluring extra-dry, making it suitable for both appetizers and desserts, with apple, pear and citrus aromas, and a peachy, summer-ready taste.
Ruffino Prosecco is produced from grapes grown in northeastern regions of Italy, defined by the Prosecco DOC code of production. It’s made through traditional white wine vinification before the Charmat Method is introduced, involving natural refermentation in pressurized tanks using selective yeasts for one month. This Method creates refined bubbles and preserves the fruity aromas which are typical of Prosecco.
Prosecco Food Pairings for Summer Entertaining
– Marinated or whipped feta (recipe below)
– Grilled vegetables (recipe below)
– Baba Ganoush
– Pizza margherita
– Plain chips or pita chips (crunchy, salty, slightly oily)
– Summer rolls with peanut sauce
– Seafood and shellfish
– Cheeseboards with soft and hard cheeses, dried and fresh fruits, nuts and crackers
– Grilled stone fruit with ice cream
Lumina Pinot Grigio from Ruffino is grown from 100% pinot grigio grapes in the wine growing regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy. After being destemmed, crushed and gently pressed, they’re fermented for 10 days in temperature-controlled tanks. The result is a delicate, straw yellow colour with notes of meadow flower, sage, mint, pear and an elegant minerality.
Pinot Grigio Food Pairings for Summer Entertaining
– Cantaloupe with ricotta salata
– Grilled fish
– Salty cheeses
– Grilled pineapple
– Pesto pizza with fresh mozzarella
– Lemon-herb marinated grilled tofu or chicken
– Watermelon feta salad
– Grilled or charred summer vegetables
As well as being delicious on their own, I make Italian aperitif cocktails with both prosecco and pinot grigio. For this purpose, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book Spritz by Leslie Pariseau and Talia Baiocchi. I was gifted this fun, fresh compendium on “Italy’s most iconic aperitivo cocktail, with recipes” for my birthday last year. I pull this cookbook out more than any other on my shelf during the warm weather, as most of the recipes are built on just a few simple ingredients.
Keep your bottles very well-chilled, preferably on-ice. Spread everything on the table and have everyone help themselves so you can be a guest at your own cocktail hour.
To ensure a good time, hand visitors a glass of prosecco the moment they arrive. This will set the tone for summertime parties that endure beyond the season itself.
Grilled Vegetables with Whipped Feta & Pita
Whipped feta is the ultimate anchor for grilled vegetables and snappy, seasoned pita crisped in the oven. If I’m feeling decadent on the weekend (and I usually am), a well-chilled bottle of Ruffino Wines Prosecco and Pinot Grigio make a striking centrepiece. Enjoy for lunch or cocktail hour al fresco.
Total Time: 40 mins
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¼-inch rounds
2 Chinese eggplant, halved, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch strips
4 zucchini, halved, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch strips
high-temperature oil, such as refined avocado oil, as needed, for brushing
salt, to taste
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp pine nuts
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Line vegetables on a large cutting board or baking sheet and brush both sides with oil and season with salt.
- On preheated grill, grill the sweet potatoes, for 12 to 15 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary, or until tender. Grill zucchini and eggplant for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender, lowering heat if necessary. Transfer vegetables to a serving dish and sprinkle with mint and pine nuts. If making ahead, bring to room temperature before serving.
- Add a smear of whipped feta to plates and top with grilled vegetables and and pita. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve with lemon for seasoning.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Ruffino Wines and I was monetarily compensated for my work. All opinions are my own. Please enjoy and drink responsibly.1