(courtesy of edwardotis)
Allow me to get a little historical. (What else is new?)
This past Sunday was the 14th of July, also known as Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale in France. Bastille Day is a French national holiday that commemorates the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille, which was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis XVI’s regime.
The storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty and the fight against oppression for all French citizens. It also marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Much like the 4th of July here in the United States, Bastille Day symbolizes freedom and is a day of celebration throughout France.
Recently the team at Arrogant Frog winery contacted me to see if I’d be interested in creating a Bastille Day recipe to pair with two of their French wines: a 2012 Arrogant Frog Chardonnay called “Lily Pad White” and a 2011 Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir called “Lily Pad Noir.”
Here’s a bit more background about the company:
Grown and produced in Southern France’s Languedoc region, Arrogant Frog wines are the brainchild of fourth-generation vintner Jean-Claude Mas, who conceived of the brand as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the English name for the French. Like their name, the wines are playful and versatile, pairing easily with a variety of foods – and have a suggested retail price of $10 per bottle.
You all know how difficult of a decision it was for me. It took one whole
second minute to respond.
I decided to pair the Chardonnay first. For some reason with white wine, the food that immediately pops into my head is risotto. It’s typically a dish I associate with fall and winter – especially when it’s 105 degrees – but with so much delicious summer produce out there right now, I couldn’t resist.
I popped open the bottle and sampled a glass before cooking. It was fresh, fruity and smooth.
Then I got to work on my “tricolor” recipe. Although these certainly aren’t the official colors of the French Tricolore flag, they do represent three colors of summer – greens and yellows for the veggies, brown for the meat. And they are definitely delicious.
Tricolor Fig & Lemon Risotto
Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings):
- 6 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, divided
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup plus three tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen organic corn, shucked
- 2 cups fresh or frozen organic green beans
- 2 Aidells Chicken & Apple sausages, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon olive oil
Boil the chicken broth in a soup pot on the stove and keep warm over low heat. In a separate skillet pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat with 1 1/2 garlic cloves. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, or roughly 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the dry white wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.
Once the wine has absorbed into the rice, add 1 cup of the warm broth and stir until the rice has absorbed it all. Continue to add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, until it has been fully absorbed into the rice. This process will take approximately 45 minutes.
With 15 minutes to go, put the corn, green beans and chicken sausage in a separate pan with the remaining garlic cloves and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, add in the 3 tablespoons of dry white wine and cook over medium high heat. Once these ingredients are ready, add them to the risotto. At this point, it should be pretty solid and creamy.
Continue stirring for a few more minutes to allow all the ingredients to mesh. Then sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and cook briefly until melted. Dish it out and serve with a drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar and lemon olive oil. I purchased mine from Oil & Vinegar.
This risotto would be delicious with our without the fig and lemon infusion, but if you’re a fan of either, you will love the way they seep flavor into every bite. This particular combination is extremely versatile – we’ve used it with bread, cheeses and in meals like this one and are always impressed.
When paired with the Arrogant Frog Chardonnay, it made for an amazing celebratory feast.
But of course, we didn’t want to leave out the Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir. Later in the week we paired it with a chicken and shell pasta dish featuring those same summer veggies. It was equally smooth but with a little more heartiness, which went great with the rich tomato sauce.
Big thanks to Arrogant Frog for the chance to try your ribbit-ing wines! (You knew one had to be coming.) I will definitely be shopping for them from now on and can’t wait to try the other varieties.
I’m sure they are all toad-ally awesome…
I’m done now. Promise.
Have you ever tried Arrogant Frog wines? What would you pair with them?
This post is part of a sponsored partnership between myself and the Arrogant Frog team. All opinions expressed here are my own.