It is too damn hot to cook. The heat index is currently hovering around temperatures usually reserved for spacecraft reentry and foundries where a young Irish kid looking to walk on to the football team at Notre Dame works while going to community college. In short, I don't want to cook. I don't want to turn on the oven or the stove. If I could subsist solely on snowballs and cold beer I would.
But this article beckons, which is why this week the title should read Not Cooking with Wine. This week, Mad Max sent over a 2009 Highway 12 Carneros Chardonnay made by Michael Sebastiani. The accompanying notes say, "This '09 Nueva is every bit what you've come to love about the modern style lush Chardonnay, with a touch more minerality. The balanced acidity makes it fresh and crisp, while letting the buttery finish shine complete with a new Stelvin closure."
What I took out of that description was acidity, crisp, fresh, and butter and that Stelvin sounds like the last name/nickname of your roommate in college. That triggered a craving for a version of the Wedge salad made with heirloom tomatoes, romaine, and homemade blue cheese dressing. Bacon would have made the salad complete, but that would have required cooking. Still, it was one of the best things I've never cooked in my kitchen.
Blue Cheese, Tomatoes, and Romaine
Hold stalks of romaine horizontal in front of you. Cut it across the rib in one inch sections. Wash, dry, and pop in the freezer for a spell.
For the tomatoes, this time of year places like Whole Foods and the like start stocking this multi-colored orbs of tomato goodness. They have exotic names like Brandywine, Green Zebra, and Bob Marley Spliff. Ok, I made that last one up, Caddyshack fans. Pick out a few, that are soft and ready to burst. Take them home, core them, then slice into fat rounds (along lines of latitude, not longitude). Season with salt and pepper.
Dressing couldn't be simpler. Your silver ware set has two sizes of spoons, right? You know the larger one? Use that as measuring stick. Take one heaping spoon of sour cream and blend it with three heaps of mayo. To this add about 12 cranks of black pepper, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Now break in a wedge of blue cheese roughly equivalent in size to the door stopper at your elementary school. I like the dressing to be chunky. Stir and let the flavors come together for about an hour.
Place slices of tomato on a plate, top with blue cheese. Toss romaine in a touch of olive oil, then stack on plate and top with more blue cheese. More cracked black pepper is always welcome.