Here are some fabulous vegetarian dishes which champion the best of the summer's mediterranean vegetables and work wonders with these top wine recommendations for August!
Mandrarossa Frappato, £13.50
Frappato is an old Sicilian grape variety with peasant origins. It is lighter and fresher than other red grapes typical of Sicily.
Lots of red berry fruit, roses and violets with a touch of sweet spice. Chill this one down for extra fruity freshness!
Powerful, yet pretty with medium acidity and low tannins making it suitable for Mediterranean vegetable dishes and Mexican Courgettes!
Ben’s Mexican Courgettes!
½ white onion chopped finely
1 clove garlic chopped finely
3 tomatoes chopped to a small dice
1 Jalapeno finely chopped
2 med courgettes chopped to a small dice
2 tbsp olive oil
Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for 3-4 mins, until soft and not coloured.
Add the tomatoes and jalapeno and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes to form a thick sauce.
Add the courgettes with salt to taste. Cook without any added water for 8-10 mins or until the courgettes are cooked but still retain their bite. Delicious served with simply cooked rice, as a summery side to your favourite tacos!
Tian (Provencal Baked Vegetables)
1 white onion finely sliced
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
2 medium courgettes
1 large aubergine
4 large plum tomatoes
3 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
30cm round earthenware dish or equivalent
Saute the sliced onions and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil, until they soften and start to caramelise, season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, making a layer on the bottom.
Slice the tomatoes, aubergines & courgettes into 5mm thick rounds and arrange upright in concentric circles, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with another tbsp olive oil. Bake in a 160 degrees for 2 hours (one hour covered with foil and one without).
A lovely side dish to a piece of white fish, baked with a dollop of pistou (or pesto) on top.
Selladore Provence Rose, £18.50
The traditional match for Tian is a classic Provence rose. Our latest arrival is the new vintage of Selladore Rose, £18.50 from the Chase Distillery team. This was the popular choice last summer and it comes in a quirky shaped bottle with a glass stopper! Also available in magnums, £39.95!
Sherry was all the rage, going back a few years and we think it's due another resurgence! We predominantly sell dry sherries (Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso) which come in spectrum of shades and styles, made with the Palamino grape variety and aged to different degrees in the Solera system.
We also sell a couple of sticky and decadently sweet PX Sherries. These are made with the Pedro Ximinez grape variety and produced in a style that can be enjoyed chilled as a dessert wine, or enjoyed generously drizzled all over vanilla ice cream! We love the Candado PX, £13.25 / £23.99
Inocente Fino £19.49
For those who prefer the drier end, we recommend the Inocente Fino £19.49 from Valdespino.
A fabulous example of a dry, light sherry withflavours of green apple, sea salt and toasty yeast. It also comes in a half bottle, £10.75!
It’s so morish, it won't last for long, with some salty snacks or tasty tapas!
Crispy Fried Aubergine and Courgettes
Here is the perfect tapas snack for a chilled fino or manzanilla.
2 -3 Courgettes or Aubergines cut diagonally crossways to 3mm.
Milk for soaking
50g Polenta and 50g plain flour
or 100g fine cornmeal
Oil for deep frying
Slice the courgettes or aubergines and soak in a bowl of milk for 15mins.
Dip in the mixture of polenta and plain flour or the cornmeal and deep fry in batches until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until the others are ready to be serve.
Serve as part of a tapas or mezze meal or dip in Salmorejo as a super satisfying starter.
250g of flavourful tomatoes roughly chopped
¼ clove of garlic, smushed
2 slices of quality (but slightly stale) white bread, crusts removed
A dash Sherry or wine vinegar
50-75ml Good quality olive oil.
Soak the bread in water and then squeeze out the liquid. Place the softened bread into a mixing device and blitz together with the tomatoes, garlic and vinegar. Blend until smooth then add the olive oil and blitz briefly until combined. Chill to serve.
If you don't fancy a sherry, try a Spanish Rose.
El Ninot de Paper Rosado 2020, £7.49
If you're looking for a party pink, why not have a go at this quaffable Valencian Rosado. Made with 100% bobal grapes, it is dry, fresh and fruity; full of redcurrant and raspberry with a refreshingly dry and citrus finish.