Monday, June 2, 2014

Avocado Fattoush With 2011 Ponzi Arneis

Monday lunch.

Avocado fattoush from NYT, based on a recipe from Einat Admony, incorporates much of the goodness from fattoush, with a lot more stuff in it.

The result, for me, was the best salad-as-entrée I've had in a long time. I can't count Niçoise as a salad. It's more than that, mostly because when it comes to the essence of "a lot of stuff in it," Niçoise takes the cake. It's a salad defined by its 'stuff.'

With the addition of scallions and pomegranate seeds, which are ingredients added in this house whenever possible when Mrs. Ney feels that it won't screw up the delicate balance of a good recipe from a good person, we felt it only added without distracting.

Oodles of mint and creaminess from the avocado and (Bulgarian) feta here, and every bite brought all the flavors from the recipe without becoming a big bucket of "TOO MUCH!"

Great balance with each nibble and forkful, and for a total of about $7 per plate, no restaurant salad-as-entrée is going to touch this. It's just not. You can try, you can pontificate, you can say, "NOOO! You haven't had this salad I once had in Park Slope, and I know, because I know..." Stop it. The world needs less of you. Everyday. All the time.

Served with a 2011 Ponzi Arneis Willamette Valley ($25 - Winery w/ shipping). I was a bit leery of its 2011-ness but no worries in the least. Fruit is fading but all the secondary happiness that this wine has shown in the past was all there. Nice tension still present, a rocky note at times, touch of peach fuzz, pleasant, long enough, gassy finish. Even some nice pauses between transitions. Nothing earth-shattering, just a wine that both (1) never got in the way of our food enjoyment and (2) extended our love of the salad by weaving into the mint and sumac just enough to feel like a third flavor emerged.

Ask for more and you're just a greedy f&#k.

And believe me, in our world, very few people ask for this much.

They should.

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