Enjoying sherry wine / pairings and recipes / Manzanilla

Toast with herring and samphire pesto with smoked bloater creme

Pair with: Manzanilla


Cooking time: 1 hour

Cynthia Schultz won the 2018 International Sherry Week Blog contest with this original pairing, using local produce from her hometown of Terschelling in the Netherlands, paired with Manzanilla. Together with her good friend and chef Sander from the restaurant Loods, they have created a standout pairing.



Toast with herring and samphire pesto with smoked bloater creme

At “the Bosplaat” on Terschelling I picked the samphire for the pesto and honckenya peploides, yarrow and the sea Lavender for garnish. This I like so much of this island, you can find such beautiful products/ ingredients in so many places. Ofcourse, you must know where to look.

Smoked bloater oil

Getting started! Chef's jacket on and there we go. You'll find the whole recipe for 10 pieces of this toast with herring here. Below I will show you the steps made and explane it with also pictures. I clean the smoked bloater (remove the viscera) and then i will “cook” it sous-vide in a vacuum bag with sunflower oil. This way, it will retract all the flavors of the smoked bloater fully into the oil. In a way we infuse the oil with this smoked bloater. In the recepi, we only use the bloater oil. As you see You don’t need to have a sous-vide machine, just grab a container of water and use a sous-vide stick Ideal for when you want to once cook this way at home. We let this yarn (“cook” ) for two hours on 65 degrees.

Smoked bloater dashi

We put the dashi is on. Dashi is a Japanese broth made from kombu (seaweed) and thin tuna chips. This dashi also was enriched with the smoked bloater. So we get that delicious seaweed and dried tuna and smoked herringbloater taste which is truly umami. This should simmer fora bout two hours. Once this is done , you have tos train it with a clean cloth to remove all the finest particles.

We also make the toasts ourselves with brioche bread. I cut them into beautiful pieces and we put them about 15 minutes in the oven around 160 degrees. I coat them with some olive oil and egg yolks in advance so they get a nice color. It seemed to us to be a good idea that the same sherry we are pairing this dish with; will also have a function in this dish. Not predominant, but in the form of a gel that we pipe on the herring in small dots. So in this way the Manzanilla-taste is very subtle incoreporated in this dish; giving it the whole pour & pair experience.

First we bring the sherry to a boil so that the alcohol can evaporate. We add some sambai vinegar (Japanese rice vinegar) with agar agar. Agar agar ensures that the liquid matter will firm up. After a few minutes you notice that the agar agar is doing its work. It will now “hang”  on your guard. We empty the matter on a plate and put this in the refrigerator so it can gel up and cool down. Once this is done, we will put it in a blender to make it a nice and smooth gel. I always thought this was a very complicated process: but it really isn’t. This morning is for me very educational!

Samphire pesto

The freshly picked Samphire goes along with almonds, hard Terschellinger Sheep cheese and a little olive oil in the blender. Voila: Salicornia pesto. Very simple and this is really very nice to one more time. For if you find the whole dish is what too much work, just create this pesto, do it on a toast and ready you are.

I trim the herring so they fit perfectly on the toast; looks like origami….and the smoked bloater oil is ready! First we strain the oil from sediments and let it completely cool down. After the cooling down we start to make the smoked bloater creme with it. Really quite simple: in the blender 100 grams of eggwhite and 200 grams yogurt with a pinch of salt and a small amount of sushi vinegar. Lett the blender it on medium high speed. This allows you to pour a little bit of the oil into the creme. That's it. The result is a very smooth, soft, glossy creme with the intense flavor of the smoked bloater.

The result of the my ultimate match with Manzanilla sherry

I put some of the Samphire pesto on the toast and lay the herring on top of it. Pipe some dots of sherry sambai gel on the herring, some dots of smoked bloater creme and herring caviar in between. I Insert some hand picked wild sea lavender, honckenya peploides, and Yarrow in the dots. The smoked bloater dashi i poar into a little glass next tot he dish. 

The herring match so well with the saltyness of this sherry.  The manzanilla aromas of almond and breaddough gives a harmonious combination with the samphire pesto and the toast. Ofcourse we also infused the manzanilla also in the sambai gel to make it totaly complete. The sherry is very dry but the dish is quite rich in fat but therefor it is a superb combination and very tasty. The broth gves the toast a more saline and umami taste.

What an incredibly fun and educational morning was this! I enjoyed cooking and finding the ingredients for this snack. Sander, many thanks that we have been able to do this together.


Author , Netherlands


Serving and consuming

Manzanilla with food

Manzanilla combines perfectly with fish and seafood, as well as with salted fish and cured meats.

Thanks to its low acidity, it is, together with Fino, the perfect choice to accompany salads, cold soups and dressings. 

  • Always serve very chilled

    Use an ice bucket with both ice and water to serve chilled between 6 & 8º C.

  • The wine of the sea

    Perfect with fish, seafood and all styles of food from the sea.

  • Style of Glass

    In traditional wide rimmed catavinos or in a white wine glass.