There comes a point in summer when it’s so hot we barely want to cook. But our desire to spend time with friends outweighs that instinct, so we invite them over anyway.
Each of these easy-to-prepare, no-cook recipes can be served as an appetizer or as a main course paired with chilled summer-ready wines.
Zucchini “Pasta” with Pesto
Spiralized Zucchini + Pesto (Basil Leaves, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper)
Pair with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
It takes a high-acid wine to hold up to basil’s intensity when joined by zesty lemon juice—and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand fills the bill. Zippy flavors of grapefruit, white peach, lychee, and passion fruit are often coupled with green herbaceous notes that are sometimes compared to fresh-cut basil.
Mozzarella + Basil + Tomato + Olive Oil
Pair with Friulano
Hailing from northern Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia, this variety has intense flavors of citrus, white peach and apple with touches of green herb and bitter almond. Strong minerality is ideal with fresh summer tomatoes, as is a full body that will hold up to creamy mozzarella. The wine’s rich fruit flavors are bold enough for even the sharpest summer basil.
Mesclun + Tinned Tuna + Olives + Hard Boiled Eggs + Green Beans + Dijon Vinaigrette
Pair with Provençal Rosé
Rosé wines from the South of France can be beautifully complex. They provide the full body we love in red wines, which is superb with protein-rich tuna and eggs. They are also bright with refreshing flavors of citrus fruits, strawberries and cherries and touches of dried herbs—a foolproof accompaniment to briny olives and tangy dressing
Minced Sushi Grade Tuna + Olive Oil + Salt + Lemon Zest
Pair with Dry Furmint
From its home in Hungary’s Tokaj region (birthplace of famed sweet Tokaji Aszú wines), the dry versions of this variety have flavors of peach, honeysuckle, Anjou pear and often a touch of smoke or flint due to the volcanic soils throughout the region. Its full body offers a nice foil to the meaty texture of raw tuna, while a crisp finish is perfect with tangy lemon zest.
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!
Last Updated: September 28, 2022