With Denver and Cheyenne being pummeled by historic snowfall last weekend, it seems kind of cruel to suggest that it’s almost time to fire up the grill and prepare some of our meals outside.
But Denver and Cheyenne aren’t EVERYWHERE, and with apologies to the good folks in those locales, wouldn’t a nice, juicy, grilled steak taste good right about now?
We’ve been craving a steak and one of our favorite side dishes, Marinated Tomato Salad, for a while now. Yet upon first glance at the recipe — which includes two types of vinegar — one might think the salad would not pair well with any of the wines we’d typically serve with steak: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec or Syrah.
True, if one were to eat only the salad with the wine, neither would be the better for it. But there’s a secret to enjoying both when they’re part of a steak dinner.
It’s really simple when you think about it: Do not eat the salad and drink the wine consecutively. Instead, enjoy a bite of salad, then savor a bite of steak, and then take a sip of wine. Before taking another bite of salad, cleanse your palate with a bite of bread or a sip of water.
And then repeat.
It’s a strategy that works well with most seemingly disparate pairings. Find a way to “separate” the mismatched food and wine, and you’ll be able to enjoy both.
The following recipe yields about 8 servings…
MARINATED TOMATO SALAD
* 1¼ cups white wine vinegar
* ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
* ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
* 2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 lbs. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
* 2 yellow tomatoes, cut into half-inch slices
* 3 sweet bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into half-inch slices
* 1 long English cucumber, cut into half-inch slices
1. Prepare the marinade by combining the two vinegars in a large bowl.
2. Add shallots, chives, lemon juice and white pepper, and mix well.
3. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well blended.
4. Add tomatoes and peppers to marinade, toss well, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 2.5 hours.
5. Add cucumbers, and toss well.
6. Remove any extra marinade, and then place salad in a large serving bowl or on a large serving plate.