Blue Bonarda

In a recent issue of Food + Wine magazine, they had a feature on “alternate reds” along with recipes to accompany. Not ever having tasted a bonarda before, as far as I know, the photos of the recipe looked great. So, we headed over to Silverlake Wine and picked up a bonarda. This one, from Sur de los Andes, is what I refer to as a good food wine. Not quite a kissing cousin, but not a wine with enough character to really enjoy on its own. It was not an expensive wine and when paired with the following dish was a really charming quaffer.

So, in the Food + Wine magazine (April 2011 issue), we spied a number of really interesting, relatively labor-unintensive recipes. One of them was for roasted beef tenderloin (a.k.a. filet mignon) with oven roasted tomatoes, shallots and blue cheese.

Prep is pretty simple and fast. Peeled shallots rubbed with olive oil and drizzled with extra virgin oil. Cherry tomatoes (strawberry toms, here) halved, salted and peppered with a couple thyme sprigs.

Then, roast the beef at high temperature until rare/medium rare. The rest of the ingredients end up stovetop to reduce with a couple other ingredients. Let that tenderloin rest! Slice it on the bias to plate and adorn with some tangy sweet tomatoes, the rich earthiness of the shallots and salty bite of the Maytag Blue.

And be sure not to get cheap with the cheese at the end. It really makes a huge difference. I opted for a slightly musty blue we had in the frig and it really stood out as not belonging at this tongue party.

Really, a very tasty and easy meal although it does require a few pans. But cleanup was a snap. If you’re interested, the recipe is online at here.

If you can’t find a bonarda, I’d suggest an earthier pinot noir. Despite the way it may sound with the roasted tomatoes, shallots and blue cheese, this isn’t an overpowering dish. It definitely has a lot of flavor, but you wouldn’t want it competing with a cab or syrah.


Tonight, we’re remaking another recipe from that same issue. A braised pork shoulder roast with roasted rhubarb and peas. ┬áThat will get a write up soon. But, since we’re making it for the second time in about a month, you should figure we really like it.