May 11, 2021, 3:54PM
Updated 1 hour ago
If you love sauvignon blanc, you may want to run out and buy a case or two of our wine of the week, Husch Vineyards, 2020 Mendocino County, Sauvignon Blanc ($16).
It is everything a lover of this varietal could want. It is lean, crisp and bright on the palate, with hints of white grapefruit, not-quite-ripe pear and a spring meadow in the morning, when dew still clings to the tender blades of grass. Aromas suggest spring orchards, with bursts or flavor that suggest kiwi, lemongrass, guava, pear and just the slightest whisper of lemon flowers.
What I find most delightful about the wine is that there is absolutely no suggestion of sweetness. Not only is the wine fermented dry, it is also beautifully made, with no one fruit flavor stealing the stage from any other. It is perfectly balanced and integrated.
At the table, you will love this wine with oysters on the half shell, chilled Dungeness crab with fresh lemon, fish tacos with cabbage salsa and grilled chicken that has been marinated in citrus. It is also excellent with goat cheese, especially young chèvre topped with blanched and peeled fava beans and a spritz of lemon.
For today’s recipe, I’m inspired by a simple dressing and ingredients that resonate with the wine itself, especially grapefruit and lemon. Both flatter the avocado. If you would prefer a heartier meal, grill chicken leg-thighs and, as soon as they are off the grill, slather this dressing over them and pass what remains alongside.
Avocado, Grapefruit and Chicken Salad with Black Pepper Dressing
Makes 4 servings
Black Pepper Dressing, recipe follows
4 cups mixed peppery greens (watercress, peppercress, arugula, nasturtium leaves, radish leaves)
1 avocado, peeled and cut into lengthwise slices
1 white grapefruit, peeled, sectioned, membranes removed
10 ounces roasted chicken, preferably thigh meat
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Make the dressing and set it aside.
Put the greens into a bowl, season with salt, toss and divide among four plates, placing the greens in a mound in the center of each plate.
Arrange a circle of avocado slices around each mound of greens and add sections of grapefruit next to some of the avocado slices. Put the chicken on top of the greens.
Spoon dressing over each salad, drizzling some on the chicken and more on the avocado and grapefruit.
Enjoy right away.
Black Pepper Dressing
Makes about ¾ cup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Use a microplane tool to grate the zest of the two lemons; set aside briefly.
Set a strainer over a small bowl. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the strainer; you should have about 3 to 4 tablespoons.
Add the salt to the strainer juice and stir to dissolve it.
Add the peppercorns, lemon zest and olive oil.
Cover and set aside until ready to use.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including “The Good Cook’s Book of Salt & Pepper,” from which these recipes are adapted. Email her at email@example.com