First Course – Roasted Peppers, Goat Cheese & Ciabatta Bread

app3Monday marked the first day of the Five Days of Food & Wine.  We enjoyed an appetizer made of Roasted Peppers, Goat Cheese & Ciabatta Bread.  Hubby supplemented his meal with some grilled chicken, left over from Sunday’s meal.  He needs more protein than I do.  I found the recipe on  The recipe is as follows:


  •    3 bell peppers in a mix of colors such as red, yellow, orange, or green
  •    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •    2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  •    1/2 teaspoon salt
  •    Pinch of sugar
  •    8 ounces fresh goat cheese
  •    2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  •    Warm ciabatta bread


  • Heat a grill to high (450° to 550°). Rub peppers with 1 tbsp. oil. Grill peppers, turning often, until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Put in a bowl and cover with a towel to steam.
  • Meanwhile, mix 2 tbsp. oil, the vinegar, salt, and sugar. Slice cheese and set on a serving plate.
  • Peel peppers, stem, and slice; discard skins. Mix peppers with vinegar mixture and spoon over cheese. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Serve with bread.

I made several batches of the vinegar mixture, one with rice vinegar and a Tuscan Herb infused olive oil (think garlic, onion, oregano & basil infused into olive oil) one with balsamic vinegar and a Spanish Melgarejo Hojiblanca olive oil and one with the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Hubby preferred the Spanish Melgarejo Hojiblanca olive oil with the Balsamic vinegar and a dash of the Tuscan Herb olive oil – of course.

I ended up doubling the recipe with the Spanish Melgarejo Hojiblanca olive oil, a dash of the Tuscan Herbe oilve oil  and the balsamic vinegar.  I put some over the peppers and put the remainder into a dish for dipping the bread or drizzling over the goat cheese and peppers and some to put over the peppers in their dish.  If I was to serve this appetizer to guests, I would cut the bread into small pieces and add a bit of the goat cheese and peppers onto the bread, allowing the guests to drizzle whatever additional oil and vinegar they would like – less messy to serve to guests, but with El Hub and I, well… I figured he likes more peppers and cheese, I like less so I left it for us to compile as we preferred.

We enjoyed two different Albarino wines with this.  We did a taste testing between an Albarino from Martin Codax and an Albarino from Burgens.  I have to say I preferred the Martin Codax for just sipping but with the food, the Burgens won the prize.  The Martin Codax Albarino is a softer Albarino, more apple/pear notes.  The Burgens Albarino initially has a more pronounced Grapefruit flavor but as it warmed up a bit the taste rounded out and it really enhanced the balsamic vinegar and goat cheese flavors.  As for the recommended Sauv Blanc, hmmm…we tried it, but really, with the heat of the summer and the appetizer, the Albrino really went better, in my humble opinion.appetizer

First course down – four to go.  Tuesday’s course is fish.  We will be having a Grilled Tuna and Corn Salad served with a Pinot Noir Rosé.

Five Courses, Five Wines in Five Days

Sunset over Lake Champlain Burlington, Vermont.
Sunset over Lake Champlain Burlington, Vermont.

As Summer begins to wind down here in Vermont (so very sad), I thought it would be an opportune time to take advantage of the bounty I’ve been finding at our local Farmer’s Market.  The local produce has given me inspiration for a five course meal.  Unfortunately, we are not at a place in our lives to consume this much food at one setting.  We’ve been trying to cut down our consumption of food, smaller meals, smaller portions.  So…what to do?  I decided to do a five course meal in five days – with wine of course.  The menu has been planned knowing our weather will be very, very warm this week.

I will be writing on the progress of this plan each day – so stay tuned!  The menu planned is:

tricolored-peppers-goat-cheese-su-xMonday = Appetizer = Roasted Tricolored Peppers and Goat Cheese with Ciabatta Bread.

Wine will be an Albarino; Burgans Burgans-Albarino-2013Albarino Baixas Rioja White. Sauvignon Blanc would be the obvious choice but because the weather is very warm and this is an appetizer I’m going with the Albarino.

tuna and corn salad  Tuesday = Fish Course = Grilled Tuna and Corn Salad

Wine will be a rosé; Rive Sud. This rosé is made from the Pinot Noir grape giving it aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry, and rive sudwatermelon. I think this wine will bring out the nuances of the Tuna and the sweetness of the caramelized corn.

lemon chickenWednesday = Main Course = Lemon Chicken with Linguine and Fresh Green Beans

Wine will be a Chardonnay; Franciscan Napa Valley Chardonnay. I believe the apple, 2011-Franciscan-Estate-Napa-Valley-Chardonnaypear and nectarine flavors in this wine will pair well with the lemon in the chicken.

fennel saladThursday = Salad = Fennel-Radicchio Salad

Wine will be a Barberra; Scagliola Mati Barbera. The liveliness of this Italian red should play barberawell with the peppery tones of the salad.

roasted pearsFriday – Dessert = Roasted pears with blue cheese and walnuts.

Wine will be Warre’s Warrior Port – the obvious choice for warre'sthis dessert.

This is the plan, we’ll see what actually happens!