Spring is in the Air

vermont in MayThe weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer for us here in the Northern Hemisphere.  This is when our household starts to clean up the grill and lighten up in the kitchen.  I recently made a dinner that turned out to pair nicely with a beautiful Sean Minor Pinot Noir. I thought I would share this dinner and the recipes with you.  I hope you are able to enjoy it as much as we did.

We started the meal with some grilled flat flatbreadbread.  I
brushed the flat bread with Saratoga Olive Oil.  I used one called “Butter” which tastes just like melted butter, then added some olive oil infused with Hirassa pepper (just a smidgen of this goes a long way).  For the garlic flat bread, I used a Tuscan Herb infused olive oil.  El Hub grilled the breads using the indirect method over a medium heat.

I also made a fruit salad, using up a few very ripe pears and grapefruits.  The key to this salad is the jicama and cilantro.  I was bowled over with the taste of the dressing mixed with the fruit.  I did leschmag saladave out the mango, didn’t have one, and I only used one jicama.  I also did not have orange extract, so I substituted the juice of one half of the oranges with that.  I was able to get a perfect Honey Crisp apple, which surprised me, I wasn’t aware they were still available in the market.

Schmag Salad

“It’s a fruit salad with a refreshing twist. Along with a mix of fruits–pears, oranges, apples, and grapefruit–there are a few surprises, like jicama, mango, and a delicious cilantro and citrus dressing.”


  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 jicama, peeled and diced
  • 2 pears – peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 oranges – peeled, sectioned, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 mango – peeled, seeded, and cubed


  1. Cut the grapefruit in half, and set aside one half. Juice the remaining half, and combine with honey, cilantro, and orange extract. Set aside.
  2. Segment the reserved grapefruit, and combine with jicama, pears, oranges, apples, and mango in a large bowl. Pour cilantro dressing over the fruit, and stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

This salad was fantastic.  I was not prepared to even like the salad, but the flavors melded so well together (who knew cilantro and apples taste like heaven?).  Of course I didn’t follow the recipe, if I had followed the recipe, we would have had enough salad for at least 8 people.  As it was, I only used one-half of a large jicama, and two oranges.  I used two grapefruits, so I had extra grapefruit juice.  I did use the same amount of cilantro and honey.  I would say to use what you have at the house, and be prepared to have a lot of salad on hand.  It does keep for about three days in the refrigerator.

Served with the grilled flatbread and salad, was a Rosé by Bonny Doon Vin Gris De Cigar, which is a lovely Rosé from the central part of California.  This Rosé is made of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Carignane, Cinsault, Marsanne, and bonny-doon-vineyard-vin-gris-de-cigare-rose-california-usa-10632090Counoise.  Whew – that’s a lot of grape varieties.  Even though the name insinuates it of the Vin Gris method, because this wine is made in California, not France, it can, and does, have more grape varieties than the French law of Vin Gris method of Rosé allows. This Rosé has enough substance to hold up to food.  We enjoy it with light food, such as this flat bread and salad, or a pasta made with olive oil and fresh vegetables.

I marinated a pork tenderloin in our favorite marinade made of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, sugar and  green onions. I marinated this overnight, but it will work in about four hours.

Asian Pork Marinade (for every one pound of pork tenderloin)

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 6 green onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Combine everything together, pour over the pork tenderloin, marinate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.

The secret to this marinade is the sesame oil.  There is a hot sesame oil on the market, if you prefer spicy foods, use this product, but you do need real sesame oil in this marinade.

sean minor pinot noir
We moved on to the Sean Minor Pinot Noir when the main dish was served.  I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried this pinot noir wine.  Made in California, in Sonoma Coast region, this pinot noir has a very smooth, not over the top pepper taste to it. Nice and easy to drink.  The flavors are sweet cherry and plum with a hint of vanilla and oak notes.  The spicy finish lingers on the palate.  This wine should be opened about 15 minutes before serving.

We rounded this meal out with a wild rice pilaf and grilled asparagus.  Spring is a short season here in New England, Summer is not too far away.  What are you putting on your grill?




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