R, D, and I went to a tasting of Greek wines at Vintage Berkeley, and decided on one of their wines to have for dinner with this salad. As it turned out, that was the only wine VB did not have on hand, so I suggested having the Marlborough sauvignon blanc comparison that D & I had been thinking about.
The salad is from the cookbook Pinxtos, from the restaurant of that name and also Piperade, both in SF. Here’s where I made it first. Cooked white beans (1 1/2 cups – used small Navy but have used cannellini in the past), toasted pine nuts (1/4 cup – R says toast them darker next time), 1/4 cup of strips of basil leaves, and the following in smallish dice: avocados (1 lg – I used 4 tiny), one tart apple (I think the one we used from our tree had gotten too sweet – recipe calls for a Granny Smith), and 3 oz of manchego cheese. These are mixed with a dressing of 1/4 cup regular lemon juice of 1/3 cup Meyer, and 1/4 cup EV olive oil, to which R added some grinds of pepper, and a bit over 1/4 tsp salt. More salt would probably be good but not doubled. I think I prefer regular lemons for their tartness, but R liked the idea of Meyers, and remembered those in a previous edition of the salad, so we did that this time, using one of the last lemons from his little potted tree.
R reflected during the meal that maybe frying up a bit of prosciutto – something salty – would make a good side for the salad – something you could pull into a bite now and then but also not do so. I pulled out the Columbus salami secche and gave us each a few thin slices, and I have to agree that it enhanced the experience of the salad. This is remarkable, b/c the salad is just about perfect by itself. I’m tagging this meatless and vegetarian b/c the salad itself is indeed so, even though we tried an addition to it, and people interested in that tag should be able to find it.
D went to the Bowl and got an Acme sourdough loaf. The wines are all from Trader Joe’s. A nice clerk at TJ’s told me a couple months ago that if I could not find Kono, there were two others “exactly the same” for the same (remarkable) price of $7.99. Nobilo there is $9.99. So we tasted all four. With the food, I didn’t think any was strikingly different from the others, but the guys thought the Sauvignon Nation was the most different. If anything, I thought the Kono was the best of the cheaper three.