Archive for the ‘Cook with Lisa’Category

An Afternoon of Moonshine Cocktails & Southern Seared Scallops with Billy Kauffman of Short Mountain Distillery and Nashville Food Writer Chris Chamberlain

Nashville Unleashed Episode #7

When three “Southern Foodies” get together in the kitchen to cook and shake up a few cocktails, you just know it’s gonna be good!


I’m a Southern girl who loves to cook and sip on a cocktail or two…..

When I had the opportunity to hang out in the kitchen with two of  Nashville’s most influential Southern culinary, cocktail and distilled spirits superstars ….I said HECK YEAH!

One of the most popular Food Writers in the south, Chris Chamberlain,who writes for the Nashville Scene and Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, features a recipe from his new book, The Southern Foodie-100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die & The Recipes that made them famous!  

I can’t think of a better reason to eat fabulous Southern food.  Chris did the hard work for us by discovering the jewels of the South, NOW GO EAT!

Billy Kaufman, president, owner and operator of Short Mountain Distillery joins us to give some insight and history behind his famous Moonshine, with a recipe over 100 years old. Recently, I visited Short Mountain Distillery, learned all about authentic moonshine and most importantly…drank it! Check out my post on my visit to Short Mountain!

Short Mountain Moonshine is not just for sipping, though. You may be surprised all the unique ways it can be used.


The Bootlegger’s Sidecar is a Tennessee twist on a traditional Sidecar Cocktail from the 1900′s, which is among the resurgence of today’s hand-crafted cocktail recipes from the Prohibition era. Chris takes his cocktails seriously. He  teaches classes on the art of making cocktails which have always been fun, informative and thirst-quenching!


Here’s the Recipe for the Bootlegger’s Sidecar:

 3 parts Short Mountain Moonshine

 3 parts Combier French Orange Liqueur

1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice

 demerara sugar for rimming the glasses

Add cracked ice to a cocktail shaker along with Short Mountain Moonshine, Combier and lemon juice.

Shake and serve!


Short Mountain Moonshine and Billy Kauffman are the “real deal!” The authentic moonshine is made by real moonshiners that have over 50 years experience. Billy has continued the practice distilling quality moonshine by bringing the past and quality to today’s shine in every bottle. Take a trip to Short Mountain Distillery and taste the real thing!


We should be so lucky to have Chris’ passion for seeking out the best Southern chefs and their culinary creations. The fantastic Seared Scallop recipe comes from Garrett’s Art of Fine Food in Montgomery, Alabama. You will be adding this to your collection of favorite recipes. It is perfect for a few guests or a crowd and the Mango and Black Bean Salsa is so versatile!





Short Mountain Moonshine isn’t just for sipping! The Blue Porch Restaurant makes the most amazing Moonshine Chocolate Bread Pudding and Moonshine cookies. The Lemon Ginger Hot Sauce was the perfect finish to the scallop dish.

We are all happy about the versatile moonshine!



Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with Black Bean and Mango Salsa
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southern Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
This genius recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. It is the perfect marriage of ingredients that will make you beg for more and the best part–the prep is so easy!
  • 32 scallops
  • Bay Seasoning, Tony Chacheries or your favorite seafood seasoning
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 t minced fresh garlic
  • 1 (12-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 t chopped fresh chives
  • 1 t chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  1. Clean scallops and detach side muscle if necessary.
  2. For the Salsa:
  3. In a large bowl, whisk oil,vinegar,lime juice, and garlic to make dressing.
  4. Fold in the black beans, mangoes, bell pepper, red onion,chives, cilantro, S & P
  5. For the Scallops:
  6. Spray medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Heat skillet over high heat until very hot.
  8. Sprinkle scallops evenly with seasoning.
  9. Cook scallops 3 to 4 minutes on one side until evenly browned.
  10. Turn off heat, flip scallops over and cover.
  11. Allow scallops to rest 3 to 4 min.
  12. Overcooking will result in tough scallops.
  13. Serve on a bed of Arugula topped with Black Bean and Mango Salsa


Traditional Italian Cooking with a Southern Accent! Black-eyed Pea Tortellini, Ham Hock Brodo & Collards Paired with an Italian wine Feliciana Lugana! Episode #5

Give pasta and collards to this Italian girl from the
south and this is what she makes!


When Old World Italian roots integrate with a Southern lifestyle and Cooking …

It all began when my Sicilian grandparents sailed to American to live the American dream and made their home in the Mississippi Delta of Greenville, Mississippi. Throughout my childhood and with every meal I was reminded of my strong and enduring Sicilian heritage. I never knew that collard greens weren’t usually cooked with garlic and olive oil and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and I always considered capers and olives a childhood treat!  When I stumbled upon Chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman’s Collards & Carbonara Cookbook, it was more than a glimpse into my family’s daily culinary routine when I was a child growing up in an Italian family in the South. I believe we were the lucky ones that got to experience the fusion of two cultures, two culinary world’s that nourished our bodies as well as our souls.

Who would have guessed that two Italian boys from Mississippi would inspire and evoke such wonderfully rich memories of growing up Italian with North Delta Mississippi and Louisiana roots!

I’m a really lucky girl! Recently, I actually got to meet Chefs Michael and Andrew at the Nashville Wine Auction’s Pairings 2014 Event!  They know that I’m a real Italian girl with Southern roots! I plan to re-create many more of their close-to-heart recipes!


What I once considered the way we cooked was “just the way we cooked ” now has validation. What I knew in my heart is  now put into words and recipes that have honored my heritage, now I know for sure “why I am the way I am!”

The Recipe

The hand-made tortellini is stuffed with cooked black-eyed peas that were put into a food processor with smoky house made bacon from Porter Road Butcher, garlic that I roasted, bread crumbs and ricotta with a dash of pepper sauce. We carefully formed each tortellini by hand and got really good at making them! I must admit that I couldn’t have done it without the skills and patience of my sister-in-law, Olivia and my fellow Italian friend and Pasta aficionado, Tom Lazzaro of Lazzaroli’s Pasta Shop here in Nashville. I convinced him to sell me a few sheets of pasta to make the tortellini (so I wouldn’t have to make it!)


This collard greens recipe is so amazing and flavorful; just the way I remembered it when my momma cooked them! Porter Road Butcher smoky ham hocks were cooked in chicken broth until tender. The wonderfully smoky, rich meat fell off the bone and added back to the broth.


If you think you’ve had the best black-eyed peas, just wait until you try this masterpiece.



Believe it or not, I had never made tortellini before! We got the hang of it very quickly and I will be making more!






Feliciana Felugan Lugana 2012  

*Grape Varietal: Trebbiano   *Floral and fruity white wine from the Lugana region of Italy

Lugana is a region of Italy that you may not be as familiar with as other Italian grapes but this is a wine that is definitely worth tasting!  Trebbiano is the grape varietal that fills every sip with delicate floral notes, notable minerality or acidity and you will swear that you tasted a fresh peach or apricot in each drop. This wine is intense, aromatic and balanced with a slightly elevated level of residual sugar making this a perfect wine to pair with the strong flavors of collard greens, smoky ham hocks and that amazing stuffed tortellini!





Traditional Italian Cooking with a Southern Accent! Black-eyed Pea Tortellini, Ham Hock Brodo & Collards! Of Course, a Wine to Pair!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine Inspired by the South
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Adapted from Collards & Carbonara, by Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman (Olive Press, 2013).
  • For the Southern-style collard greens:
  • 2 lb. (1 kg) sturdy collard greens, stems removed and leaves
  • torn into fork-size pieces
  • 2 ham hocks, preferably Benton’s
  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • For the ham hock brodo:
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. roasted garlic (see note below)
  • 2 ham hocks, preferably Benton’s
  • 8 cups pork stock
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 6-oz. (185-g) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
  • (optional)
  • 8 oz. (250 g) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and
  • drained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 bacon slices, preferably Benton’s
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. roasted garlic (see note below)
  • Chicken stock as needed
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) good-quality fresh ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (1 oz./30 g) dried bread crumbs
  • About 2 lb. (1 kg) pasta dough
  • Semolina flour for dusting
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
  1. To prepare the collard greens, submerge the greens in a large bowl of water and swish them around vigorously to remove the grit. Drain the greens, then repeat 2 more times (collards can be very dirty). In a large pot, combine the ham hocks and stock. Add water if needed to cover the ham hocks. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat just starts to pull away from the bone, about 30 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and greens to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the greens are tender, about 1 hour. You will need 2 cups (6 oz./185 g) cooked greens for the tortellini recipe.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the ham hock brodo: In a stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 2 glugs (about 2 Tbs.) olive oil. Add the celery, shallot and leek and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted garlic, then add the ham hocks, stock, thyme, parsley, sage and cheese rind. Add water to cover the ingredients, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth is full flavored, at least 1 hour. While the broth simmers, occasionally skim off the foam with a large metal spoon.
  3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the ham hocks. When they are cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the hocks in large chunks and reserve. If using the broth immediately, let it stand for a few minutes, then skim off the fat from the surface before using. Or, to store the broth, let it cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Scrape off the solidified fat from the surface before using. The recipe makes about 2 quarts (2 l) brodo; you will need 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) for the tortellini recipe.
  4. Place the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes, skimming off the foam that forms on the surface. When the peas are fully cooked, season with salt and drain.
  5. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas and roasted garlic and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the stock and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom, then cook until the ingredients are nice and soft, about 10 minutes. In batches, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and puree until smooth. Put in a bowl; add the ricotta, bread crumbs and pepper vinegar to taste and mix well.
  6. Roll the pasta dough through a standard pasta machine to the number 6 setting. Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, and keeping the others covered with a damp kitchen towel as you work, use a 2-inch (5-cm) round cutter to cut the sheet into rounds. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of each round, being careful not to add too much. (Alternatively, spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch/12-mm plain tip and pipe the filling onto the rounds.) Dampen a fingertip with water and run it along the edge of half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over the filling to make a half-moon. When all of the half-moons are formed, arrange them on the work surface with the rounded edge facing away from you. Place a finger of your nondominant hand in the center of a half-moon and use the fingers of your other hand to bring the 2 points together over your finger. Pinch the points together to seal the tortellini. Spread out the finished tortellini on a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pasta rounds and filling. You will need only half of the pasta shapes for this recipe; freeze the remaining shapes for a future meal.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop in the tortellini and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 cups collard greens and 3 cups brodo with the reserved ham hock meat until warmed through. Drain the tortellini and add them to the pan. Toss until well coated.
  8. Divide the tortellini among warmed wide, shallow bowls, then ladle in the collards, ham hock meat and brodo from the pan. Serve immediately, passing additional pepper vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table for diners to add to taste. Serves 4.
  9. Note: To roast garlic, cut 2 heads of garlic in half crosswise and place, cut side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast in a 350°F (180°C) oven until the garlic is soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic from the skins.
  10. Adapted from Collards & Carbonara, by Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman (Olive Press, 2013).



02 2014

Enjoy Vibrant Spanish Paella with a Tennessee Twist and Pair with the Lush and Fruity Faustino Rivero from the Rioja Region!

Nashville Unleashed Episode #1

Traditional Spanish Paella is filled with bold flavors, vibrant colors and is one of the most famous dishes from Spain.

PicMonkey Collage

A Brief History

 In Spain, this national dish originated in the countryside fields of Valencia. The agricultural workers were the first to cook rice in a flat pan over a fire at lunchtime. Using what they found from the land, the ingredients included snails, local vegetables and rabbits.

Celebrations of birthdays and holidays with family and friends are often planned around a paella feast. The paella dish is placed in the middle of the dining table and is usually eaten straight from the pan with wooden spoons.

Passion for Paella

About 25 years ago, after we made the move from Northern Louisiana to Nashville, somehow I became obsessed with the art of cooking paella. I do remember that I was inspired by a recipe that I found in a cookbook called Cooking with Wine. I purchased my first paella pan (in the photo below) from a local cooking store in my area and occasionally cooked paella for just my husband and I or, for a group of friends. I was already an adventurous cook from the Sicilian-Cajun influences of my family and growing up in Louisiana. I come from a family of talented home cooks and I can thank my father and mother for continuing their rich Italian culinary history that my brother and I were born in to a still carry on today. Nashville’s food culture has come a long way. We now have access to any ingredient necessary to create authentic dishes from just about anywhere in the world.


While living in the Texas Hill Country, I began hosting Paella Parties for friends and cooked paella for 30 people at a local olive oil orchard. When I moved back to Nashville, I wanted to continue hosting parties and decided to take my passion for paella to another level.

Essential Ingredients – Local Ingredients – Support Local

Bomba Rice is essential to creating an authentic, quality paella. This short-grained rice is grown in Spain. It is very easy to cook with and is very forgiving. It can absorb a lot of liquid without becoming sticky or clumped. You can find Bomba rice at some specialty stores around town or it can be ordered from or  Although you don’t necessarily have to have an actual paella pan, you definitely need a flat, shallow pan that allows for a lot of surface area to spread out the rice and absorb the liquid used in this Spanish rice dish. If you can’t find a paella pan in your area, they are available for ordering in many sizes on the websites provided. Other ingredients such as high quality saffron threads and smoked paprika can also be purchased on these sites, too.



There is such a variety of vibrant flavors and ingredients in a paella, that a red or white can be enjoyed with this dish. I think a mouth-watering Albariño, a Spanish white or a young red (Joven) wine from the Rioja region of Spain. A young fruit forward yet balanced wine with lush, fresh fruit flavors and aromas finishing with refreshing acidity is needed rather a heavily oaked wine with overpowering tannins that would compete with  rather than enhance the flavors in the paella.

One sip of Faustino Rivero Ulecia 2011 from the Rioja Region of Spain and you will see why I recommend it. Juicy red and black fruit such as raspberries, strawberries and blueberries fill the mouth with fresh fruit flavors and pleasing acidity. Although this is a young wine, layers of blueberry pie spices,  a touch of vanilla and a hint of dark chocolate and white pepper have a lingering finish with this delicious wine perfect for a paella pairing.


Whether is a Paella Mixta, with chicken, seafood and spicy chorizo or just a meat paella or seafood, there are endless recipes to please everyone. Like the field workers who created their meal with local ingredients out of necessity, the best ingredients are the ones that you can obtain locally. Nashville is rich with local sources for chicken and pork and Southern seafood such as shrimp and clams are fresh and succulent which makes a fabulous paella with a touch of the south! The best dishes are the ones sourced locally for quality and freshness while supporting your local farmers.


I have 6 paella pans ranging from sizes of 14 inches to 32 inches. The 32 inch paella pan is large enough to make a paella for around 30-35 hungry guests!

This past summer, I hosted a Paella Party for a friend from high school complete with tapas and a great selection of  Spanish wines.  After the paella was finished cooking, the host and one of his guests carried the large pan in to the house to begin the paella feast.


Recently, I had fun teaching a Paella Class at Williams-Sonoma and I am looking forward to many upcoming classes at Whole Foods, Nashville Farmer’s Market and The University School.

PicMonkey Collage


So, here is a basic paella recipe that I use. There are so many variations on this recipe and I will post each individually as I cook them.

Paella with Seafood, Chicken and Chorizo
Recipe type: entrée
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
Paella Mixta is a traditional Valencian paella with a mix of chicken,shrimp,mussels, chicken and chorizo sausage garnished with colorful vegetables such as green beans, roasted red pepper slices and yellow lemon slices.
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 5 chicken legs
  • 12 fresh clams
  • 12-15 fresh mussels
  • ¾ lb fresh Southern Shrimp
  • 3 local chorizo Links removed from casings, crumbled and cooked
  • ¼ t saffron threads
  • 2 t Spanish Smoked Paprika, sweet or bittersweet + extra for the chicken
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 T Spanish olive oil + plus extra
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced + extra
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t marjoram or oregano
  • 2 cups Bomba Rice
  • 2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup green peas, green beans, garbanzo beans, large lima beans or gigantes beans
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, cooled, peel removed and julienned
  • Handful of italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon sliced into wedges
  • salt and pepper
  • Favorite seasonings such as garlic and lemon pepper
  • 15 inch paella pan (4 to 6 people)
  1. Rub chicken pieces liberally with your favorite seasonings, smoked paprika, s/p, olive oil and fresh minced garlic.
  2. Add a little olive oil to paella pan and cook crumbled chorizo. Drain out most of the oil.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Add a couple more of tablespoons of olive oil to paella pan and cook chicken until done.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Add onions and sauté until partially soft then add minced garlic.
  7. Spread the Bomba rice, smoked paprika, thyme, marjoram to onion mixture and sauté for a few minutes until the onions get a little brown on the edges.
  8. Add broth,(only up to the level of the bolts on the pan) scraping up any brown bits.
  9. Add lemon juice.
  10. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  11. Arrange cooked chicken pieces on top of the partially cooked rice, pushing down slightly.
  12. Add more broth if necessary.
  13. Arrange the seafood attractively around the pan, pushing each one down into the rice.
  14. Do not crowd.
  15. Do not stir anymore. You want to form the succorat: the crusty rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Everyone loves this! This is a tradition.
  16. While the paella is simmering, begin arranging the garnishes.
  17. Once the chicken is heated through, the clams and mussels have opened and the shrimp are cooked, it’s ready!



01 2014

Celebrate July 4th with The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine 2010 Paired with Smoky Apple-Glazed BBQ Baby Back Ribs & Firecracker Coleslaw!

Enjoy this wine & BBQ Pairing for the 4th of July!



The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend 2010 is a great choice for pairing with any summertime celebration that includes BBQ ribs drenched in a smoky, sweet and spicy sauce.
Dave Matthews and his winemaker Steve Reeder have created another very approachable wine rich with balanced acidity and fresh fruit. Juicy, ripe raspberry and a hint of ripe cherry and smoke will be a definite crowd pleaser for warm weather outdoor celebrations with friends this summer.

I must say that they really got this one right. This a great “quaffing” wine with all of the goodness that blending achieves. This lush wine is a blend of Merlot that dominates and the addition of Syrah, Zinfandel, Petit Syrah, with a touch of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Retention of fresh acidity due to the long, cool growing season in the North Coast region of California was the perfect mix to create a mouthful of balanced fruit and acidity which turns out to be a great match for ribs with a spicy BBQ sauce.




Apple-Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs by renowned BBQ Champion Chris Lilly is full of flavor and, as it turns out, pairs very well with The Dreaming Tree Crush. Everyone enjoyed this wine pairing! The fresh fruit flavors and aromas with a hint of smoke and refreshing acidity was a perfect match with the smoky ribs and sticky sauce.

*** I substituted Chipotle Powder in place of the cinnamon ***

Follow the hight-lighted link to get the recipe for this week!

For around $15 dollars a bottle, I would definitely recommend The Dreaming Tree Crush 2010 for your summertime enjoyment and sharing with friends.

Want to find Dreaming Tree Crush in your area?

To find Dreaming Tree’s Crush Red Blend in your area go to and click on the Store Locator in the bar.

Firecracker Slaw is cool and creamy with a definite pop of fresh jalapeno heat making a great side dish to the spicy ribs.I developed this recipe over time from experimenting with several different recipes over the years.

Creamy Firecracker Coleslaw
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Summertime salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 to 10
This cool and creamy coleslaw has just enough kick to be a great July 4th side dish and all of your summertime grilling!
  • 2 – 1 pound bags of store bought Shredded Coleslaw mix with shredded carrots
  • ½ head of purple cabbage,shredded
  • 1 green jalapeño thinly sliced into rings,remove seeds and ribs
  • 1 bunch green onions,thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro,coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup real Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup half and half, whole milk OR heavy cream
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine all of the cabbage,green onions,cilantro and jalapeños in a bowl.Toss.
  2. In another smaller bowl,combine mayonnaise,honey,vinegar,cayenne with whisk.
  3. Whisk in half & half into the ingredients to a thinner dressing-like consistency.
  4. Add more or less to desired thinness.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes or store until use.
  7. Toss into slaw mixture and serve.


HAPPY 4th of July!


07 2013

Sip into Spring with Mezzacorona Pinot Noir Paired with Pan Roasted Salmon and Warm Lentil Salad!

Spring time (for me) means warm days, cool breezy nights and simple yet elegant evening dinners to pair with the warm weather ahead. Cold weather recipes are replaced by lighter warm weather meals that are quick and easy to assemble so I can spend extra time outdoors rather than more time in the kitchen.

I also keep my wine rack well-stocked with versatile,food-friendly wines that pair with a variety of dishes that I like to cook whether it’s for two or friends that may drop in for dinner and wine on short-notice.


You know its springtime in Texas when the brilliantly colored Bluebonnets blanket the roadsides!


Crispy pan roasted salmon pairs well with Mezzacorona Pinot Noir. Roasted, char-grilled or delicately smoked, salmon is a versatile fish for a variety of warm weather recipes. This salmon dish pairs well with this medium-bodied, intensely flavored Pinot Noir from the foot of the beautiful Dolomite Mountains of the Trentino Alto-Adige of Northern Italy. Fresh dark and red berries dominate the aromas and flavor of this wine with a hint of spice from a brief touch of oak. Mezzacorona Pinot Noir is pleasing from the first sip to the last drop! The Italian terroir in this area of Italy is perfect for the purest expression of 100% Pinot Noir lending to its refreshing yet balanced acidity and retention of fresh fruit flavors with elegant silky tannins. Pinot Noir from Italy is richer and a touch riper than a Pinot Noir from Burgundy in France. This area of Italy produces a variety of aromatic, luscious food-friendly and crowd pleasing wines. This is a great versatile bottle of wine for under $10 so you can keep several bottles to pair with your grilled steaks,shish kebabs and chicken recipes for summertime enjoyment!

Check out the Mezzacorona website to learn more about the area and their wines! Click on to find out where Mezzacorona wines are available in your area.

Read how Mezzacorona Wines are produced with GREEN MANAGEMENT using techniques to reduce the impact on the local environment.

Find Mezzacorona, Wines of the Dolomites on Facebook  and “LIKE!” They have a great FB page!




Pan Roasted Salmon and Warm Lentil Salad
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
My pantry and refrigerator are well-stocked with ingredients to make quick and tasty salads with fresh vegetables, beans, grains and pasta for a no fuss elegant rustic meal for any evening. My wine rack is also well-stocked with food-friendly wines for a quick perfect pairing any day of the week!
  • 4 6oz Salmon Filets (skin on for those who like it crispy)
  • ½ lb french lentils Cooked according to package directions,drained and cooled Place in medium-sized bowl for tossing the salad
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • Look for pre-diced veggies in your grocery for saving on prep time
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • Fresh Lemon for squeezing
  • 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • dash of sugar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1-2 cups of baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
  1. Liberally add your favorite seasonings such as garlic Pepper, lemon pepper or greek seasoning
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Add several turns of olive oil to an oven-proof skillet on medium heat
  4. Season each filet with salt and pepper or any of your favorite seasonings
  5. Place filets in pan top side down and cook until crispy and brown 5 to 8 minutes
  6. Flip filets over to skin side down and place pan in oven
  7. Roast up to 10 minutes depending on the degree of doneness that you like
  8. Make the Lentil Salad while the salmon is cooking
  9. Saute the onions,minced garlic,celery and carrots in about 2 T of olive oil until soft Once they begin to brown, add to the cooked and cooled lentils
  10. Make the vinaigrette
  11. To a small bowl, add the Dijon and red wine vinegar,minced garlic clove
  12. Sugar, salt, thyme, cumin and pepper and mix well
  13. Whisk in about ⅓ to ½ cup of olive oil to the above until incorporated
  14. Toss with lentils and add then gently fold in the tomatoes
  15. Divide the Warm lentil salad between 4 plates
  16. Top each plate with Salmon
  17. Finish each dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  18. For a perfect pairing, Serve with the food-friendly Mezzacorona Pinot Noir