by Christine Ritenour, Intermediate Sommelier and Rogers Ford Farm Winery Tasting Room Associate
With summer heat upon us, it is time to say “Sí a Rosé” and pair Rogers Ford Farm Winery’s Sumerduck
Rosé with a Mexican Pesto with Shrimp and Green Rice.
The Sumerduck Rosé is an off-dry Rosé made from a blend of Vidal Blanc & Petit Verdot. On the nose,
the Vidal Blanc shines through first with characteristic notes of honeysuckle and white flowers, but then I
get a hint of violets from the Petit Verdot. On the palate, I get candied pineapple and ripe plum and a
hint of citrus. The wine has a pleasant acidity and hint of sweetness. I wanted to pair it with something
spicy and verdant to play off it and Mexican Pesto came to mind.
The pairing was wonderful; Sumerduck Rosé’s light sweetness mellowed out the heat of the jalapeño and counterbalanced the saltiness of the cheese. Also, the fruit notes balanced out the grassiness of the cilantro and lime juice. This is one pairing I will do again.
You can find many versions of Mexican or Texas Pesto on the web – this is one I perfected 20 years ago
for our tastes and my family loves it. My husband loves it so much it was one of the dishes I made for
our wedding reception 19 years ago. Fun fact – I made all the food and the wedding cake for my
wedding to my husband Rob.
Mexican Pesto with Shrimp and Green Rice
For pesto (makes roughly 2 to 2 1/2 cups pesto)*
-2 bunches of cilantro, bottom part of stems chopped off (stems are tender so no need to pick leaves; just give the bottoms a trim). Pull out 1/2 a bunch for the rice and coarsely chop 1 1/2 bunches of cilantro. If you are a super taster and cannot tolerate cilantro use flat leave parsley instead.
-1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped
-1/2 cup each freshly grated Parmesan & cotija cheese (you can use all parmesan or all cotija if that is
your preference – I like the tang cotija adds)
-2 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
-1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
-3/4 pepitas, toasted
-2 lime juiced (zest one of the limes for the rice)
-4 cloves garlic, grated
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/2 cup olive oil
-Peeled and deveined shrimp (plan on 6-8 ounces per person) and seasoned with salt & pepper**
-1 cup rice
-2 cups chicken stock or water
-1 T butter
-5 ounces fresh spinach
-1/2 bunch cilantro (see above)
-zest of one lime (see above)
-3 green onions, roughly chopped
-1-2 limes cut in 1/2 to serve with the finished dish
For Green Rice:
Bring chicken stock or water to a boil, add butter and salt & pepper to taste. Stir in rice and reduce to a
simmer and cover pot. Cook for 12-15 minutes until rice is done. While rice is cooking, in food
processor combine fresh spinach, cilantro, lime zest & green onions. Process until finely ground. Once
rice is done, use a fork and stir the spinach mixture into the rice to combine. Cover with lid to keep
warm while you make the pesto and shrimp.
For Pesto (note I do not clean the food processor after making the spinach mixture for the rice – I just
use the bowl again as is):
Combine the 1 1/2 bunch of cilantro onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, and
tomato in a food processor, pulse a few times to combine. With processor on stream in the olive oil
until mixture comes together. Add the pine nuts and parmesan and pulse a few times. Taste and season
with salt and pepper to taste. If you want more heat, you can add a third jalapeño.
Heat a skillet and add a thin layer of oil (avocado, grapeseed, etc.) and add the shrimp and place lime
halves cut side down to caramelize; cook shrimp through. Turn off the heat, remove the lime halves and
add a good heaping 1/3 cup pesto for each serving of shrimp and toss with the shrimp.
To serve, place rice on plate and top with shrimp and pesto, garnish with caramelized lime half, extra
cilantro and chopped green onion. Squeeze lime over dish.
*I double or triple the recipe and freeze it in muffin tins and then transfer to freezer bags. This is a great
way to use up cilantro when it is cheap and plentiful. This pesto is great to toss chicken wings in for a party or make a pasta salad by tossing the pesto with your favorite shaped pasta, corn, black beans, & grape tomatoes.
**If you don’t eat seafood, substitute cubed boneless chicken for the shrimp. Vegetarians can substitute
roasted cauliflower florets for shrimp. Vegans can leave out the cheese or substitute vegan parmesan.