The general opinion is that any wine is good for cooking. In fact, as with everything, quality things are the best no matter where you put them. My rule is to make the wine at least so good that I enjoy sipping it from a glass while I cook. Not too much, of course, it wouldn’t have a good effect on the dish. When I have an upscale dish in mind, I use such a wine.
Cooking with wine is like this: chop, sip the wine, stir, drink some more, keep roasting, hold the glass in your hand and look somewhere in between, get back to business and pour the wine into the pan on the stove. You fry it so that it evaporates and only the aroma remains in the dish. You knowingly lean over the steamer and search for real vapors.
So you’re always in a better mood, the edges of stressful everyday life are softened a bit, so the food you prepare will taste better. We neglect this part of the kitchen too much.
The main guideline in cooking with wine is therefore quality. Then there is the matter of color. Red wine goes into very spicy dishes, bold marinades and tomato sauce. It also nicely complements thick minestrone. Red wine tolerates longer cooking times than white.
White wine is sweeter and better suited to vegetable dishes, risottos, soups and light sauces. As a velouté, it perfectly replaces lemon. We prepare desserts with it, we knead cookies, we make cream, except the chocolate one, because they don’t like it. Until we master the taste and the right amount of wine in the recipe, there is no need to overdo it when cooking with wine, or when drinking.
My recipe today is white risotto tossed with sun-dried tomato pesto and topped with grilled asparagus. These contain all kinds of beneficial substances that also act as antioxidants and reduce the effects of stress, much like a glass of wine. Their season ends with a hot summer, and you can always find a bunch of thick green-purple shoots in the market. They get a very special taste when you grill or fry them. If you have ever opened a summer kitchen, this may be the first dish prepared outdoors. Serve with a glass of good rosé wine and a toast to life.
- a bunch of asparagus
- white onion
- green rod
- 2 cloves garlic
- 200g rice suitable for risotto (e.g. arborio)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- soup base spices
- 100ml white wine
- 100g almonds
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- head of young garlic
- juice of a lemon
- shredded shell
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Soak almonds in water overnight. Peel them, rinse them and shake them on a tea towel to dry them.
2. Mix the spices for the soup base in half a liter of hot water. Finely chop the onion, garlic and greens separately. Cut off the woody part of the asparagus, then cut it carefully lengthwise.
3. Fry the onion in the oil (keep light), add the greens and finally the garlic. As soon as it smells, add the rice and sauté until all the grains are greased. Pour in the wine and stir to evaporate. After cooking, only a trace of alcohol will remain in the dish, if you want to make the dish completely alcohol-free, pour water over it. Continue basting with the soup stock and stirring as often as possible along the bottom. When the rice is cooked, set aside. The structure should be creamy, the risotto should not be too dry.
4. For the pesto, grate the lemon zest and squeeze the juice. All the ingredients go through a powerful blender at the same time: peeled almonds, grated lemon juice and zest, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peeled young garlic, salt and pepper to taste and enough olive oil to form a thick pesto .
5. Gently fold half into the risotto, place half on top of the risotto on the plates and over the grilled asparagus. Fry the asparagus last and place them on the still hot risotto.