By Bill St. John, Special to Tribune Newspapers
December 19, 2012
Let's pretend, to noodle the recipe a bit, that this is a full-on Mediterranean preparation, for red wines from that region would well accompany it.
By and large, the reds of Italy, Spain and southern France sport a bit more acidity and more cleansing tannins than their New World offspring, perfect for taming the oils from olive and citrus and the fats from meat and dairy in this recipe. Plus, with all their vowels, they sound nice with the word "zucchini."
The food: Zucchini 'fettuccine' with lamb burgers
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; season 4 lamb burger patties with salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness. Meanwhile, slice 4 zucchini lengthwise into paper-thin strips with a vegetable peeler or mandoline. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir in 2 cloves minced garlic; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add zucchini strips; season with salt. Cook, stirring gently, until zucchini begins to color. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest. Serve, topped with burgers; garnish with creme fraiche mixed with fresh herbs. Makes: 4 servings
2009 Vidal-Fleury Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France: This all-syrah sure exemplifies the grape's great characteristics, at the hands of a first-rate winemaker: opaque hue; abundant but caressing tannins; waves of beautiful herb-flecked aroma; and a long, sweeping finish. $25
2010 Tiefenbrunner Lagrein Turmhof, Alto Adige, Italy: What's best about the lagrein grape is how it packs in so much black-red fruit flavor, such oomph in aroma, and so tingly an amount of acidity for so little money. $20
2008 Faustino Rioja Crianza, Rioja, Spain: An old Rioja house, known for its aromatic, silky, juicy-fruit style; there isn't a lick of sugar in this red, but your tongue will begin salivating after a chin-dripping sip of it. $16
— Bill St. John, special to Tribune Newspapers
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