Vegan Pairing: Flatbread and Mongrana Bianco 2020

Mongrana Bianco is a wine for many social occasions and pairs with a plethora of appetizers and small plates bursting with flavour.

Charming and inviting, with expressive fruit on the palate, Mediterranean herbal notes and a delightful, lengthy finish, Mongrana Bianco is the perfect choice for many social occasions, from casual dining to smart lunches and fun get-togethers. When pairing with Vermentino, think green: raw and marinated vegetables, salads with tangy vinaigrettes or dishes where herbs are predominant such as pasta or gnocchi with vegan pesto.

The wine’s light salinity echoes the sea, and shines next to a vegan fritto misto, but its mellow citrus notes won’t overshadow even the most delicate preparations. But do not be fooled! Mongrana Bianco is not just an easydrinking wine for al fresco dining. Thanks to the layered mouthfeel, Mongrana Bianco meets its match also in hearty, warm dishes with a bit of spices like a Chickpea Tikka Masala. Its versatility makes it even excellent with artichokes, traditionally a tricky pairing.

Pairing Mongrana Bianco with a Mediterranean flatbread

Originated in Egypt, flatbreads are cooked all over the world from Mexican tortillas to Indian chapatis. They are great served soft, filled with beans, chickpeas or falafels, or baked until crisp and served with dips, soups or stews. Or can be made as an easy, quick version of pizza, baked up into a crusty base for your favourite toppings. We like ours packed with a plethora of warm, Mediterranean flavours and paired with a glass of Mongrana Bianco from Maremma.

Why this pairing works well

A well structured Vermentino-based wine, Mongrana Bianco goes well with a bready taste and a sprinkle of olive oil. It holds its own with the sweetness of the delicata squash, caramelized red onions and roasted peppers. One of the classic qualities of Vermentino is the pleasant and appetizing fresh almond finish. The pesto, made with almonds and bitter, spicy arugula, works as the ‘sauce’ of our flatbread and mirrors these nutty and bitter accents of the wine. Vermentino also has a tangy and salty note accentuated by the vegan feta. Ultimately, the earthy and Mediterranean taste of Thyme, with its warm, peppery undertones, add depth to the overall flavour profile of the flatbread and marry beautifully with the savoury character of the wine.

 

Broccolini and Roasted Delicata Squash Flatbread with Arugula-Almond Pesto
By Sunny Gandara
SERVES 2–⁠4

1 flatbread, homemade or store-bought
arugula-almond pesto
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
250 g broccolini, halved, stems trimmed
1 medium delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced in half moons
2–⁠3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1–⁠2 large red bell peppers, roasted, skin removed and sliced into thin strips
100–⁠125 g vegan feta cheese
salt to taste
pepper to taste

For the homemade flatbread :

250 g all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for kneading dough
180 ml warm water (between 38–⁠43 °C)
15 ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing dough
2 tsp granulated organic sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry or instant yeast

 

Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let sit for about 5 minutes until yeast starts to get frothy.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour, olive oil and salt and knead for about 2–3 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for another 2–3 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Return to a clean, greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for 1–2 hours until double in size.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 225° Celsius.

Place the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface, divide in half and shape each of the pieces into a rectangle. Don’t worry about it being perfectly symmetrical, but the dough should be quite thin. Place on a pizza stone or a prepared baking sheet, prick the top lightly all over with a fork and brush with a little olive oil. Place your toppings on the pizza and bake in the oven for about 10–12 minutes, depending on your oven, until crust is golden, and the cheese has melted. Slice and serve warm with a chilled glass of 2020 Mongrana Bianco.

For the arugula-almond pesto:

80 g arugula
50 g raw almonds
30 g nutritional yeast
30 g vegan parmesan (or sub more nutritional yeast)
Juice of ½ lemon
100 g extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

 

Place the arugula, almonds, nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides. Add salt and pepper to taste, then with the motor running, drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until well incorporated. Taste for additional seasoning. Keeps in fridge in an airtight container for one week.

For the toppings:

Preheat your oven to 200 °C.

Place the broccolini in a bowl and drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Using your hands, make sure the oil is evenly coated on the broccolini. Set aside.

Place the delicata squash on a lightly oiled baking sheet, season another tablespoon of olive oil, a little salt and pepper and the sprigs of fresh thyme. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning the pieces halfway until lightly golden on both sides. Remove from oven and set aside.

If you are roasting your own peppers, you can place them whole on a separate sheet tray in the oven, brush them lightly with olive oil and roast them for about 20 minutes, turning them around with and roasting another 20 minutes until charred and soft on the outside. Remove from oven and let cool before removing the outside skin and the inside membranes, then slicing them into strips.

Heat up a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced red onion with a pinch or two of salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent, set aside.

Once ready to assemble, place the flatbread on your sheet tray or pizza stone, brush a generous amount of the arugula-almond pesto on top, sprinkle with a few dabs of vegan feta, pieces of roasted peppers, onions, delicata squash and broccolini.

Buy Mongrana Bianco 2020

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