Pairings: Pinot grigio perfect for summer salad
By Michele Anna Jordan | Jul 19, 2016

Our Wine of the Week, Coppola Rosso & Bianco 2015 Pinot Grigio ($12) is a lovely casual quaffer. It is bright, crisp, and refreshing, without the flabbiness that some of California’s early attempts with this varietal were. Flavors evoke an array of citrus, along with green melon, such as honeydew.

The wine engages with a wide array of foods. It shines with seafood, especially shellfish, with salads, and with certain Southeast Asian dishes, such as Thai larb and Vietnamese bün.

You’ll enjoy this wine immensely with steamed clams and when you add parsley, lemon, and pasta for a simple spaghetti alle vongole, the match soars. It’s excellent with oysters on the half shell, too.

This pinot grigio is a good choice with many summer vegetables, too, especially cucumbers, poblanos, and tomato with plenty of acid. Grilled zucchini with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of sumac welcomes the wine, and salty cheeses like feta, as well as green olives are good matches. It’s also a perfect choice if you’re enjoy a light dinner of tabbouleh on a hot night. You can even enjoy it with red meats, such as rare ribeye steak, simply by adding a spritz of lemon to the cooked meat.

For today’s recipe, inspiration comes from the wild Gulf shrimp recently available for a good price at Oliver’s Markets and from traditional Greek salads, so refreshing during a heat wave. You can enjoy the salad without the shrimp by adding a light vinaigrette of shallots, garlic, Greek oregano, lemon juice and olive oil.

Greek Salad with Pickled Shrimp
Serves 4 to 8

— Pickled Shrimp (recipe follows)
7 medium back-yard quality tomatoes, cored and peeled
— Kosher salt
— Black pepper in a mill
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6-8 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 cup pitted green olives, such as Picholine or Castelvetrano
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Make the pickled shrimp well before serving the salad; allow from 3 hours to overnight.

An hour before serving, cut the tomatoes into wedges and arrange on a platter. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, cover lightly, and set aside for 1 hour.

To complete the salad, scatter the scallions and parsley over the tomatoes and top with the olives and feta. Scatter the shrimp on top and spoon the pickling liquid, including the onions and lemons, over everything. Enjoy right away.

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Pickled Shrimp

1 pound wild shrimp, cooked (see Note below)
1 small red onion, peeled, very thinly sliced, rings separated
1 lemon, washed and very thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 small shallot minced
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
— Kosher salt
2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano or other dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
— Black pepper in a mill

Put the cooked shrimp into a glass bowl or glass jar, add the onion, lemon, bay leaf, shallot and garlic and toss together gently. Season lightly with salt, add the oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, and several turns of black pepper. Taste and correct for salt and acid. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and as long as overnight. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before serving.

Note: To prepare the shrimp, pour a thin layer of olive oil into a heavy sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer, cook for about 90 seconds, turn, and cook for 90 seconds more. Transfer to a bowl or clean work surface and let cool. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails intact.

Michele Anna Jordan is author of the new “Good Cook’s” series. Email her at michele@micheleannajordan.com and visit her blog at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.