Primavera \ ˌprē-mə-ˈver-ə \ adj. served with a mixture of fresh vegetables (such as zucchini, snow peas, and broccoli) —usually used postpositively.
Italians classically used primavera to refer to the first of spring (the word literally means “first green”), evoking images of fresh life returning to earth after the cold, fallow winter. In contemporary parlance, primavera has become a popular food preparation celebrating the natural flavors of farm-to-table goodness.
As spring warms our sun-loving souls, welcome a season of growth with these vegetable-driven food and wine pairing ideas for a healthy brunch or a light and flavorful dinner.
Strawberry Pecan Salad and Pinot Noir
Spicy arugula, candied pecans, sweet strawberries, and a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese makes for a bright and light salad. This flavorful salad offers sweet, peppery, and tangy notes, as well as crunchy and creamy textures for a classic warm-weather dish. Add some shaved radishes for a little extra crunch, and dress lightly with a berry vinaigrette.
The richness of pecans, strawberry and goat cheese beckons a sweet red, like a wet pinot noir or petit syrah. A juicy currant and cherry finish will play delightfully with the tanginess of the goat cheese and tart bite of strawberry.
Primavera a la Griglia and Chardonnay
The first of spring deserves a colorful tribute. Slice some zucchini, portabella mushrooms, and yellow squash. Dress lightly in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Light up the grill and throw on the veggies until tender and slightly charred. The earthy goodness of these filling and nutritious veggies makes for the perfect accompaniment for grilled seitan, salmon or steak. In true primavera fashion, you’ll enjoy these veggies unadulterated by sauces and heavy seasoning with simple, fresh flavors.
Pair with a wine that is neutral, but balanced. Tart flavors or heavy wines will drown your palate, making it difficult to appreciate the nuanced flavors of fresh vegetables. A buttery wine will keep the meal balanced and fresh, while woody undertones will enhance the earthiness of this simple side dish.
Pizza Primavera and….?
Elevate your pizza party with a fresh and fabulous flatbread full of spring vegetables. Slow roast eggplant, thin-sliced shallots, broccolini, and oyster mushrooms. Then, top a thin layer of pizza dough with ricotta, mozzarella, olive oil and these delicious veggies. Bake until the dough is crisp and the cheese is melty.
The lovely thing about pizza—and perhaps this is why it’s an enduring and beloved part of Italian cuisine—is that it can pair well with virtually any wine. The bready base, variety of toppings, tangy tomato sauce and richness of the cheese combine for enviable umami. Take your pick of wines as you craft your custom pizza primavera.
These ideas are just the beginning of your perfect vegetable pairings for the spring season. Don’t be afraid to brighten up your world with colorful medleys of fresh-from-the-earth creations in the form of pastas, stir fry, and even vegetable paninis. Along the way, experiment with fresh and fruity accompaniments from the vine.