Sometimes my Wine of the Week Pairing column makes it on line, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I’ll post it here. This column ran in the print edition of the Press Democrat on July 17, 2016.
Our Wine of the Week, Angeline Vineyards 2015 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($15), is a charmer, with a lighthearted delicacy and refreshing crispness. It glances off the palate like a bird on the wing, leaving behind subtle impressions of Eureka lemon, Pippin apple, white peaches, and something resembling a blend of lemongrass, lemon verbena, and scallions. There’s just the slightest suggestion of citrus blossom and jasmine, along with that most beguiling quality, wet cement in the morning sun.
Buoyed by its beautiful acidity, the wine has broad appeal. You’ll enjoy it with zucchini, sweet peppers, mildly hot chilies, tomatoes with high acid, all manner of green beans, and avocados. It is excellent with young goat cheeses, feta cheese and plain yogurt. It is a natural companion to green salads, rice salads, and cole slaw with light vinaigrettes (no balsamic vinegar with this wine, please) and is a fabulous match with shellfish and flatfish such as Petrale sole, flounder, and sand dabs. You’ll also enjoy it with steamed clams, raw oysters, and tart seafood salads.
Inspiration for today’s recipe comes from deep in the archives. This light, bright pizza is a perfect companion to this wine. All you need alongside is a simple green salad and you’ll have a wonderful summer evening meal.
Avocado Zucchini Pizza • Serves 4
- 1 pizza dough (see Note below)
- Coarse-ground corn meal or polenta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 small-medium (each about 5 inches long) zucchini, grated on the large blade of a box grater
- 1 to 2 serranos or jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper in a mill
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Joe Matos St. George cheese, grated
- 1 firm-ripe Haas avocado
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 4 very thin lemon slices, cut in half
- First, prepare the pizza dough according to its recipe or, if commercial, its instructions.
- Set a pizza stone or baking tiles in the center of the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the surface of a baker’s paddle or the bottom of a sheet pan generously with cornmeal or polenta. Use your hands to slowly stretch the dough into a fairly thin roundish disk and lightly set it on top of the polenta. Drizzle the olive oil over the dough.
- Put the zucchini, serranos or jalapeños and garlic into a bowl and toss lightly. Season with salt and pepper and scatter over the pizza dough. Drizzle with the lemon juice and spread the cheese on top.
- Transfer the pizza from the paddle to the baking stone or tile and cook until the crust is golden brown around the edges and the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 13 to 16 minutes.
- Transfer the pizza to a work surface and let it rest for about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pip and cut the avocado into lengthwise slices. Use a soup spoon to scoop out the flesh; to do so, insert the spoon as close as possible to the skin of the avocado, near the top, and then ease the spoon downward to loosen the flesh.
- Cut the pizza into 8 wedges and top each wedge with 1 or 2 slices of avocado. Season the avocado with salt and pepper, scatter some of the cilantro on each slice, add a half-round of lemon and enjoy right away.
Note: If you make pizza dough at home, use your preferred recipe. You can find commercial pizza dough at Oliver’s Markets in the prepared foods section.