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Vibrant Bean and Radish Salad and Fresh Rosé for Memorial Day

A recipe from chef Chris Cosentino's new book, plus a list of 12 recently rated rosés

Laurie Woolever
Posted: May 18, 2012

Spring is rushing headlong into summer, shedding layers as it goes. Memorial Day, just over a week away, marks your first opportunity for warm-weather entertaining, and chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto, has shared a bean salad recipe from his new book, Beginnings, that puts summer flavors and textures at the center of the plate. Served with crusty bread, watermelon slices and a few deviled eggs, it's a complete summer meal, though it will also play nicely alongside rib eye steaks, barbecued pork ribs or burgers from the grill.

Rosé makes a fine, versatile pairing with the salad, providing enough body to stand up to the piquant radishes, onions and vinaigrette, without the tannins that would create discord. We've provided a list of recently rated rosés below.

In a relatively simple recipe like this, it all comes down to the details. Cosentino uses a Russet potato in the bean cooking liquid because, he says, it contains an enzyme that keeps the bean skins from "popping" as they cook. He calls for salted ice water when cooling the cooked pole beans because he wants them to absorb a little extra flavor in the process.

Cosentino is known for his way with "nose-to-tail" cooking—his Twitter handle is @offalchris, and he's at the forefront of California's current foie gras wars, fighting, he says, for "the right to choose what to eat." But he says, "Offal cookery is only a part of what I do, maybe the part I yell the loudest about, but my highest food bills in the restaurant are for vegetables and fruits. Vegetarians love us."

Bean and Radish Salad

Recipe adapted from Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal (Olive Press Media & Williams Sonoma, 2012)

For the cannellini beans:
• 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans
• 1 yellow onion, peeled
• 1 celery rib, halved
• 1 carrot, peeled
• 1 Russet potato, halved
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

1. Pick over the beans, discarding any grit or misshapen beans. Rinse the beans under cold running water, transfer to a large pot, add water to cover by 2 inches, and let stand for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

2. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, potato and water to cover by 2 inches. Place over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 2 hours. The timing will depend on the age of the beans (the older the beans, the longer the cooking time).

3. Remove from heat and let the beans cool in the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the onion, celery and carrot. Season the beans with salt and pepper and a big splash of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight before completing the salad.

For Zinfandel vinaigrette:
• 1/4 cup Zinfandel vinegar (may substitute other high-quality red wine vinegar)
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1/4 cup each pure olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and pure olive oil until emulsified, and then whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

For the salad:
• 1 pound mixed pole beans, such as Romano, yellow and purple wax, Dragon Tongue and Blue Lake (you may also use green string beans)
• 8 red radishes, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
• Cooked cannellini beans (from above)
• Zinfandel vinaigrette (from above)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Piccolo Fino Verde

1. Have ready a large bowl of salted ice water. Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pole beans, working in small batches separated by type, and cook until the beans are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes per batch. Remove the cooked beans with tongs or a skimmer and immerse them in the ice water to cool completely. Remove and pat dry. Repeat the process until all the beans are cooked, refreshed and patted dry.

2. Drain the cannellini beans well, transfer to a large bowl, and add the pole beans, radishes and onion. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Sprinkle in the basil and taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Divide among chilled individual plates and serve. Serves 10 as a side dish.

RECOMMENDED ROSÉS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More wines can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

CHÂTEAU LA GORDONNE Côtes de Provence Rosé La Chapelle 2010 Score: 90 | $18
A powerful rosé, boasting a firm, spicy aroma and delicate dried berry and cherry flavors that linger with creamy notes. Rich, minerally finish. Very suave. 1,000 cases imported.—K.M.

RAVOIRE & FILS Côtes de Provence Rosé Domaine Fontanyl 2010 Score: 89 | $15
This rich, creamy style delivers plush flavors of ripe cherry pie, spice and melon. Finishes with notes of white chocolate and hints of almond. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported.—K.M.

LES VIGNERONS DE TAVEL Tavel La Croix des Roses 2011 Score: 89 | $17
This has power and ripeness, with nice layers of cassis, cherry and strawberry confiture that are kept lively by nicely integrated acidity and a long, hot stone-tinged finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases made.—J.M.

CHÂTEAU CAVALIER Côtes de Provence Rosé 2011 Score: 87 | $17
Dried cherry and plum aromas and flavors are firm and focused in this rosé. The finish features light berry and spice notes. Drink now. 4,000 cases made.—K.M.

JEAN-LUC COLOMBO Vin de Pays de Méditerranée Rosé Cape Bleue 2011 Score: 87 | $12
Light, but firm, nice persistent cherry pit and rose petal flavors along with a note of dried strawberry. Drink now. 20,000 cases made.—J.M.

DE BORTOLI Moscato New South Wales DB Family Selection Pink 2011 Score: 87 | $9
This light pink wine is sweet and delicate, with spicy Muscat flavors in an easy-drinking style. Drink now. 5,000 cases made.—H.S.

EL COTO DE RIOJA Rioja Rosado 2011 Score: 86 | $11
Exuberant cherry and berry aromas and flavors are joined by a pleasant light earthiness on the palate of this forceful dry rosé, which has light noticeable tannins and a cherry finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported.—T.M.

CHÂTEAU GUIOT Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2011 Score: 86 | $10
This features a big, juicy blast of cherry and ripe strawberry fruit, with a lingering hint of spice on the finish. Very up-front, but will have some fans for sure. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.—J.M.

INNOCENT BYSTANDER Moscato Victoria 2011 Score: 86 | $14
This bright, vibrant wine offers a spicy raspberry flavor bouncing through the lightly sweet, easy-drinking finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported.—H.S.

LES VIGNERONS DE CORRENS Côtes de Provence Rosé Croix de Basson 2011 Score: 86 | $17
Tight around the edges, with some chalky notes to the dried cherry and berry flavors. A white pepper accent marks the finish. Drink now. 7,000 cases made.—K.M.

CHÂTEAU GRANDE CASSAGNE Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2011 Score: 85 | $10
A breezy style, with open-knit watermelon and strawberry notes. Drink now. 5,000 cases imported.—J.M.

PROVIVA Malbec Mendoza Maipe Rosé 2011 Score: 85 | $13
A fresh, lively rosé, with strawberry and black currant notes backed by a floral finish. Drink now. 5,000 cases made.—N.W.

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