Il brindisi di mezzanotte: le lenticchie come non le avete mai mangiate.

Caschi il mondo se ognuno di noi non trova un posticino nello stomaco per un piatto di lenticchie allo scoccare del primo minuto del nuovo anno nonostante lo sfarzoso cenone appena concluso.

Lo facciamo perché ci è stato inculcato come rito propiziatorio immancabile per un anno più ricco del precedente ma non tutti sanno che l’origine del gesto affonda le radici nella storia antica.

Le lenticchie sono state il primo legume coltivato dall’uomo e già gli antichi Romani ne erano ghiotti. È a loro che dobbiamo la credenza, diffusasi in tutte le regioni italiane, che vede le lenticchie come l’alimento portatore di ricchezza e fortuna nell’anno in arrivo.

Gli stessi scaramantici Romani agli albori del nuovo anno erano soliti scambiarsi in dono le ‘scarselle’, piccole sacche di cuoio da legare alla cintola dei pantaloni, piene di piccole lenticchie.

L’augurio era che durante il nuovo anno si trasformassero tutte in monete sonanti.

Con lo stesso augurio ci lasciamo indietro questo 2017 e con una sola parola d’ordine in testa aspettiamo il 2018: originalità.

Vi proponiamo infatti per i brindisi di fine anno un modo alternativo di servire le tanto amate lenticchie: una torta.

RICETTA

  •  200 g di lenticchie rosse decorticate,
  • 150 g di farina,
  • 50 di fecola di patate,
  • tre uova,
  • 180 g di cioccolato fondente,
  • 170 g di burro,
  • 170 g di zucchero di canna,
  • una bustina di lievito
  • un cucchiaino di cannella, uno di vaniglia in polvere e un pizzico di sale.

Dopo aver sbollentato le lenticchie in abbondante acqua con un cucchiaio di zucchero, scolatele e frullatele.

Intanto che aspettate si freddino, montate le uova con zucchero, sale e vaniglia.

Sciogliete il cioccolato assieme al burro a bagnomaria e incorporatelo alle uova aggiungendo lentamente farina, fecola e cannella.

Per ultima unite all’impasto la purea di lenticchie e in un stampo che avrete precedentemente imburrato, infornate la vostra torta in forno caldo a 180° per 45 minuti.

Da bere?

Per il brindisi di rito si sa, le bollicine sono d’obbligo e allora un buon calice di Prosecco di Tenute Salvaterra è quello che farà al caso vostro.

Il perlage raffinato e le note delicatamente floreali, con un profilo fresco e pulito accompagneranno splendidamente il palato corposo e forte del cioccolato e il retrogusto insolito del legume base della preparazione.

MORE THAN JUST REDS. Tenute Salvaterra cracks open its Pinot Grigio to usher in the summer.

Summer is coming. Routine and pace of life change, and with them our taste in wine.

Long dinners and a glass of red by the fireside make way for an aperitif and dinner on the terrace, nibbles and crostini, accompanied by the brilliant notes and fresh, fruity and floral aromas of a glass of white.

 

Here in Veneto, north-east Italy, in an area overlooking Lake Garda, Prosecco vineyards are replaced by rows of a white grape that today epitomises the region and lends its freshness and mineral notes to one of Salvaterra’s finest creations: Pinot Grigio.

 

The Pinot Gris grape was created by a naturally occurring genetic mutation in the more renowned Pinot Noir variety that changed the colour of its berries.

Native to Alsace, it started to make its way around the world from the 1850s. It also reached Italy, where it is known as “Pinot Grigio”, and became especially popular in the north-east, in the area that stretches from Friuli’s Collio to Trentino and the heartland of Veneto. Pinot Gris ripens extremely quickly, despite being highly sensitive due to the size and shapes its fruit. It is therefore ideal for growing at a range of altitudes, as the higher the vineyard, the longer the grape takes to ripen fully.

 

Over the years, oenologists have studied two parallel winemaking methods for this variety. The first involves leaving the juice in contact with the skins; the second more traditional method involves extracting the juice and discarding the skins. The first is a much rarer method, as it is more complex and produces fuller-bodied wines with intense aromas.

 

Salvaterra’s Pinot Grigio is made with the traditional winemaking process. A combination of advanced growing techniques, delaying harvest by about a week, and controlled-temperature pressing contribute to the crafting of an elegant wine with sophisticated notes of acidity and minerals.

 

The result of Tenute Salvaterra’s devotion to traditional winemaking is a Pinot Grigio that is complex, elegant and refined in equal measure, making it the perfect complement to a host of summer dishes. It makes a delightful aperitif, but can also be served throughout a meal. It is a worthy accompaniment to fish antipasti, pasta and risotto dishes, as well as the majority of Mediterranean cuisine.

UNLIKELY PAIRINGS? Amarone and chocolate: the perfect combination!

“Amarone della Valpolicella” is a symbol of Italy’s wine culture and the embodiment of finesse and elegance, tradition and authoritativeness. Its discovery, however, came only after a chance event involving Recioto.

In Roman times, wine was temperamental, making it difficult to transport and store for long periods. To counter this, the Romans began to dry the grapes with a technique known today in Italian as appassimento. Drying the grapes concentrated sugar levels, which made them perfect for making very strong wine.

The story goes that a cellar master forgot to remove the must from a barrel of Recioto, a process that interrupts fermentation and keeps sugar levels high. As a result, the wine had fermented completely, leaving it dry and strong, but it was pleasing to the eye and to the palate. Thus, the cornerstone of Italy’s modern wine industry was created by mistake.

Today, Amarone enjoys international fame and is recommended as a pairing for classic dishes, such as game and rich, fatty food, as well as for seasoned cheeses and charcuterie. But why not move with the times and experiment with wine as people do with cuisine?

Its aromatic notes and full body have made Amarone an established complement for chocolate, but once this pairing would have been frowned upon.

Whether Amarone is used as an ingredient or accompanies a meal, serving it with chocolate creates a match made in heaven.

Below are two simple dishes that use Amarone and chocolate to stunning effect.

– AMARONE VIALONE NANO RISOTTO: cream of smoked aubergine and toasted chopped cocoa beans.

– EXTRA-DARK CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE: peach coulis and flakes of Maldon salt served with a glass of our finest “Amarone Riserva di Tenute Salvaterra”.

These two dishes demonstrate that this most traditional of wines can be paired creatively and its uses revolutionised.

With clever promotion and raised awareness, Amarone can take centre stage on important occasions, but still be a symbol of Veneto’s proud wine culture and part of day-to-day cuisine.