Spring Dinner Menu and Recipes

With spring and bud break almost upon us, our thoughts turn to spring food and celebrating the return of green and the rebirth that spring represents.  So whether your gatherings of family and friends involve a religious tradition or just an opportunity to celebrate the return of sunlight and warmth, here is a menu that is perfect for spring entertaining. These delicious recipes are favorites from Stephen Pavy, our Director of Hospitality and Wine Education.

We like menus with lots of choices for appetizers and small plates, because it allows a meal to start slowly as guests arrive.  Once at the table, this "small plates" approach provides little bites of many interesting foods while allowing time to talk and reconnect with family and friends.  We find that our guests love to see the menu for the entire evening, as it whets their appetites for the delights to come. Here is a menu card for this spring party that you can personalize for your own event. Try it out here.

The Onion Tart is a great appetizer to make ahead.  Pair it with the Joseph Phelps Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc as guests arrive. When you sit down at the table, have the Cranberry Bean and Mixed Herb Salad and whatever is left of the Onion Tart at the table. 
Make sure you have a Freestone Vineyards 'Fogdog' Pinot Noir opened and decanted for the Warm Mushroom Salad.  This earthy salad is a perfect bridge between the winter flavors we have been enjoying for the last few months and the return of spring. 

Next comes the main course of Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables seved with Patatas Bravas.  The Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Cabernet Sauvignon or Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia are both outstanding wine choices.  The lush fruit and supple tannin structure of these two wines will really sing with this rich stew.

Lastly, treat your guests to the Walnut Torte, which may sound a bit fussy but is actually pretty easy if you like to bake.  The Joseph Phelps Vineyards Eisrébe pairs well with this.  The torte itself is a balanced desert, not too sweet and another nice bridge between the winter foods we have been enjoying of late and the return to spring with its promise of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy your spring party!