With spring well under way and summer around the corner I love everything it promises; warmer evenings, al fresco dinners, impromptu BBQ’s and endless evenings filled with laughter and friends. I’ve always enjoyed hosting, it’s in my blood, for as I can remember my mother would be the hostess of many a dinner party, cocktail soirée or outdoor summer gathering. Bringing friends together with good food and wine is something I love to do, I have habitually been the one to provide the food, my friends the wine, not because of my lack of knowledge but because choosing a good wine can be overwhelming. I can count on one hand the wine shops and boutiques surrounding me in London, most of which rarely source what I’m looking for and if they do, there’s limited supply and usually grossly overpriced. In summer, I love nothing more than a chilled bottle of rosé wine, however, sourcing a good Côtes de Provence rosé can be particularly hard. I for one have the luxury of a car in London but to many others, sourcing more than a couple of bottles at a time, and good ones at that, can be an arduous task.
That was until, Millesima was brought to my attention. Millesima, a family run wine business from Bordeaux has 100 to 250 en-primeur wines literally in every format possible and has more than 150,000 private clients. Their comprehensive list includes Crus Classés wines from all Bordeaux vintages of the last 15 years, enabling customers to easily source the Chateau and the vintage that they are seeking. Millesima also offer wines from the best properties in the Rhone, Burgundy, Alsace, and other leading French regions, as well as top producers from Italy, a recent addition to the selection of hand-picked fine wines. Flicking through there is something suitable for every occasion, budget and taste from a Sunday lunch pairing, to jeroboams for a celebration. Each wine has a comprehensive description and characteristics list, making it easy to pair with food.
Eager to find a rosé perfect for summer I decided to hand pick a Côtes de Provence rosé. I picked the iKon cuvée from the Château Hermitage Saint-Martin. A rosé that is fresh and crisp, despite characteristically being rich and complex, it’s surprisingly easy on the palette. Aside from working with light pasta and rice dishes it’s also perfectly paired with shellfish such as lobster and scallops, should you fancy making an occasion of it. I for one, like to cook with ingredients that in season and with the approach of summer and courgettes being at the forefront of the seasonality calendar I wanted to create a vegetarian dish that was easy to assemble, packed with flavour and a perfect pairing with the iKon rosé wine.
Courgette and taleggio risotto with pistachio and cavolo nero pesto, poached Burford Brown egg and crispy herbs. A light, fresh and creamy dish which when teamed with the iKon rosé cuts through the richness of the creamy taleggio and golden yolk yet also complimenting the freshness of the seasonal courgette ribbons and herbs.
With over 200 wines on offer at Millesima, there’s literally something for everyone and for every occasion. Hand couriered straight to your door, fuss-free and stress-free it certainly has my vote for sourcing and supplying something special this Summer.
- 50g butter
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 180g pearl barley
- 100ml of white vermouth
- 1 litre of hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 50g taleggio, grated
- 2 courgettes
- 2 cavolo nero leaves
- 1 tbsp. pistachios
- 2 tbsp. parmesan
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 4 eggs, preferably ones with a golden yolk like such as Burford Browns
- A handful of crispy herbs such as basil and oregano, fried in butter until crisp
- Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the shallot and garlic and gently fry until softened. Add the barley, increase the heat and pour in the vermouth.
- Once evaporated, ladle the stock, and bubble over a medium-high heat while stirring constantly. When the liquid has just about been absorbed, add another ladleful of stock continuing this process for 20-25 mins until the barley is just tender and creamy. Stir in the taleggio, remove from the heat and pop on the lid, leaving it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin peeler, peel the courgettes and arrange over kitchen towel. Press down to absorb some of the moisture and set aside.
- To make the pesto, in a food processor add the cavolo nero, pistachios and parmesan and blitz, adding the oil as you go to form a chunky pesto.
- Poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes until the white is cooked and the yolk still runny.
- Add the courgette to the pan and serve the risotto with a poached egg on top, a spoonful of the pesto and scattered with crispy herbs.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Millesima