Fratelli Perata Winery

Fresh Raspberry Salad

The old farmer’s rule was to plant Zinfandel vines near walnut trees. The trees were to add a spicy complexity to the wine. We have 2 walnut trees, planted in 1978. Not too many walnut trees around Paso Robles anymore, but this salad brings them to mind. Along with fresh-picked raspberries brought home from the berry patch, walnuts and Zinfandel are a wonderful combination. Zinfandel goes through stages of ripeness, starting at raspberry, then moving to blackberry, then plum, prune and raisin. The 2010 shows off its raspberry/blackberry with this salad, then the spicy walnut plays on the black pepper spice of the wine. Goat cheese balances the acidity when the wine is young. This will be on the sweet side for those steak guys out there; we love this when raspberries are in season.

Note: we found Kozlowski Farms Red Raspberry Vinegar at the local grocery store. Be careful using this as pouring small amounts is difficult. We moved it to a different bottle. Do not use prepared red raspberry vinaigrette as those will be too sweet.

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tsp honey
3 Tablespoons olive oil
6 grinds of fresh black pepper (less if your olive oil is the really peppery style)
1/2 cup walnut pieces, lightly glazed, found in the nut section or crouton area of the grocery store
1-10 oz container fresh raspberries, only fresh
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled when cold
2 large bunches loose leaf lettuce, your favorite 16 oz. package, but not spinach, clean, completely dry, and torn.

Be sure the finished salad is lightly dressed; depending on the kind of lettuce, we’ve been known to add more so it’s not dripping
Whisk together the vinegar, honey, oil and pepper in your salad bowl. Add to that the lettuce, onion, and walnuts. Toss, then add raspberries and cheese and lightly toss again.

Serve with Zinfandel and BBQ tri-tip, to make the guys happy.