Aaah…strawberry season. That perfect time of year when the full flavor of summer gets parceled up in perfect little heart-shaped packages. Farmer Tom, of my veggie share, is keeping me well stocked with these little bites of happiness. So much so, in fact, that I am having to find ways to use all of them each week (we are currently getting 6-8 pints of strawberries per week. So it’s sliced strawberries at breakfast, strawberry smoothies, strawberry tarts, fresh strawberries for dessert, and strawberries on my salad.
Last night I whipped up a little salad to accompany the pizza that my husband was bringing home for dinner – aah, pizza night – a welcome respite from kitchen duties, and tasty too! Working with what we had on hand I pulled out some strawberries, some sort of beautiful, curly, red-leafed lettuce, now for the dressing. I immediately thought of the classic Italian combo of strawberries and balsamic and proceeded to make a little vinaigrette (drizzle olive oil over the greens, toss, drizzle balsamic over the greens, toss – come on it’s pizza night – let’s not get too fussy). I riffled through the fridge and rustled up some goat cheese. Perhaps not the best salad to accompany pizza, but a darn tasty one none the less.
Now on to the wine. What do we have that will complement both pizza, and my tasty salad? I looked over the Italian wines we have, but nothing ticked my fancy. Something French? Nah, although thinking of the expression of a Frenchman when told I was drinking their fine wine with American-Italian food did make me chuckle. What to drink? What to drink?
My eyes drifted towards the remains of a case of a 2000 California Cab Sauv that I got a great price on, and I stopped looking. The older Cabernet would be nice with the pizza, as most reds are, and would be mellow enough not to blow away the salad.
It was delicious! The softer fruit flavors of an older Cab were delicious with the fruity sweetness of the balsamic, and really pretty against the fresh, bright strawberry flavor. Even if the two parts of the meal didn’t necessarily go together too well, at least the wine was great with both of them – so in the end it all made sense. I do love that a good pairing can bring sanity to a schizophrenic meal!