5 Refreshing Spring Salads and Wine Pairings

pring salads are the perfect way to spice up your dinner table and pay homage to the beautiful warm weather. Not only do they provide a lighter meal option, but the intermingling tastes are just tantalizing to the tastebuds! This is the season of outdoor dining so a serving up a spring salad with friends is just fitting.

You know how I roll though so no ordinary salad will do for a party- no matter how small! I’ve picked out a few recipes that are sure to please the salad hater in your life. These salad and wine pairings will set the mood for a romantic night in or a classy dinner party with your friends. Whatever the occasion, these recipes won’t disappoint.

Spring Pea and Radish Salad

You will need:

½ pound of fresh green beans
½ pound of fresh sugar snap peas
2 cups of water
6 large radishes (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp tarragon
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper

After cleaning and removing the ends from your beans and peas, place them in boiling water for 5-8 minutes. Once cooked, drain and toss with the remaining ingredients. This quick, unique salad can be served on its own or with other vegetables.

Pair with a Zinfandel wine, like our 2016 Rudderless to compliment the sweet tastes and textures of this salad. The semi-sweet, earthy taste and drier texture will set your palate at ease.

Kale Slaw Spring Salad

This recipe gets slightly more intense and is a great compliment to a light, spring wine.

You will need:

5 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of torn romaine
1 pkg coleslaw mix
1 med fennel bulb (sliced)
1 cup chopped broccoli
½ cup shredded cabbage
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
⅓ cup olive oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
⅓ cup strawberry puree
Sliced strawberries

Combine kale, romaine, coleslaw mix, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, feta cheese, and sesame seeds. Toss to ensure a good distribution.

Stir together your olive and sesame oils before whisking in honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add puree and continue whisking until combined. Pour this dressing over your vegetables just before serving and top with sliced strawberries. Now, doesn’t that sound divine?!

This salad pairs best with a rosé or white wine. The acidic notes will enhance the tang of the strawberries, making your salad and wine the perfect pair.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Radishes, Cucumbers, and Pesto

I know this seems so cliche but grilled chicken salads just work! Pair it with seasonal, fresh ingredients- you’ve got a winner. Fair warning though, for these ingredients, you’ll need a food processor for proper preparation.

You will need:

¼ cup tarragon leaves
¼ cup parsley leaves
4 tsp of pine nuts
5 tsp of lemon juice
2 tsp chopped shallots
6 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin (chopped and grilled)
5 oz baby greens
1 cup sliced radishes
1 cup sliced japanese cucumbers

First, you will need to create your pesto sauce! Place your tarragon, parsley, half of your pine nuts, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and your shallots in a food processor and chop them coarsely. As you chop, add in oil. This creates your pesto mix, so season it to taste and add more oil if you feel your pesto is still too thick.

Whisk 2 teaspoons of your tarragon, the rest of your lemon juice, and more oil in a small bowl to create your salad dressing. Add oil to gain your desired consistency.

Place your greens, radishes and cucumbers in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing. Serve yoursalad with your grilled chicken slices and dress the top with your homemade pesto. For added visual appeal, you can also sprinkle the top with pine nuts!

Your wine pairing for this one is a no brainer: Chardonnay. Our Cloud Nine is perfect for this salad, as the fruit-forward aroma of the wine brings out the intense flavors seen in your pesto and salad. Your guests will gain a more intense flavor profile with this simple pairing!

Spring Greens and Shaved Celery Salad

If you’re looking for a simple, traditional recipe, look no further.

You will need:

1 shallot (chopped)
3 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 celery stalks (shaved or finely chopped) and leaves
1 bunch of arugula
2 tbsp green olives (pitted and chopped)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Whisk together your shallot, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper before adding chopped celery stalks and leaves to the arugula. Toss to evenly coat. Garnish with olives and cheese and you’ve got a spectacular salad to share with all your guest!
The lack of sweet ingredients in this salad make it a great match for a sweet wine like our Decadence Reserve. The smokiness of the Parmesan and the bitterness of the vinegar will meld perfectly with the rich flavors of dark cherry and vanilla . A crowd-pleaser for sure!

Grilled Asparagus Salad

Simple and soul-warming, this salad is easy to toss together, but oh so delicious!

You will need:

¼ cup olive oil
⅛ cup lemon juice
12 asparagus spears
6 cups spinach leaves
⅛ cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp seasoned, slivered almonds

Preheat a pan on low heat. Combine your lemon juice and olive oil in your pan before adding your asparagus to the heat. Cook through to ensure the correct texture for your salad. To the side, combine your spinach, cheese and almonds. Cut the asparagus into small pieces and add to your mix, along with any excess lemon juice and oil. Toss to blend together evenly and then serve.

This salad pairs extremely well with a wine that has a large, oaky body.Pinot Noir works extremely well, especially when it is served properly as a cold wine. The large body of the wine interacts with the light tastes of the salad, rather than overwhelming them, giving your taste buds a treat both in the glass and on the plate.

Spring Salads are a sure fire way to spice up your dinner with color and flavor. While hosting guests can often be stressful, trying out new recipes will make your gathering fun and unique. Pair your salads with the correct wine and your gathering will be all your guests talk about for weeks to come!

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