By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards
One thing the McGrail team has always discussed tasting great with our Sláinte Red Blend is pork sausage. Since I usually don’t really care for pork sausage, it has been a challenge for me to find the energy to actually take the time to make the pairing. Having grown up in a Portuguese family, linguica has always been a staple in my family’s breakfasts, lunches, and dinner. Maybe I forgot that linguica is pork sausage, but it is certainly one of the more palatable foods of the Portuguese cuisine, which I think is why I’ve taken a liking to it. If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying fresh-off-the grill linguica, it’s greasy, meaty, and a little sweet and spicy. I chose it as the main star of this dish, because while I think it’s great on its own, it’s also delicious with other acidic foods, like tomatoes or onions. I added cheese to balance out the acidity and an herb focaccia to complement the slight herbal notes in the nose of our Sláinte Red Blend. To further the Portuguese theme of this pairing, I think it’s important to mention this wine is composed of two Portuguese varietals and Cabernet Sauvignon. This really is a most excellent pairing!
Herb Focaccia & Linguica Flatbread
Makes about 16 servings.
- 16 oz. fresh herb focaccia bread
- 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 22 oz. linguica sausage (I recommend Silva’s or Lockeford sausages, both are founded in Northern California), sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 12 garlic cloves, quartered
- 6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 10 oz. mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
- 6 oz. fresh ciliegine whole milk fresh mozzarella balls, quartered
- 4 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Take your focaccia bread and rub 2 tablespoons olive oil all over it.
- Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until bread becomes slightly brown.
- In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium and cook linguica slices until just heated through.
- In a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-low and cook shallots, garlic, and mushrooms until they become soft.
- Evenly disperse the tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, linguica, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme sprigs over the top of the focaccia bread.
- Cook the focaccia flatbread in the oven at 450 degrees F for 10 to 20 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.
- Enjoy with a glass of our Sláinte Red Blend!
I hope I’ve inspired you to make this perfectly balanced pairing at home! Please let us know if you do make any of these plates and if you have any feedback. We’d love to hear from you!
Cheers and enjoy!