We received a question the other day about pairing beer with a vegetarian dish, and that got me thinking about an all-vegetarian beer pairing. Not that I have anything against meat, but I do like the challenge of cooking a great meal using limited ingredients. And since meat is expensive and several of my friends are vegetarians, a meat-free dinner party—with a beer focus, of course— seems like a great idea. (These recipes do feature eggs and cheese, and so are not suitable for die-hard vegetarians or vegans.)
The following recipes and beer pairings were collected from some of my favorite sources. Feel free to add some suggestions of your own in the comments below!
Portabella Burger and Talon Double Smoked Porter
Probably one of the popular vegetarian dishes—a beer-marinated portabella mushroom on a toasty bun and finished with crispy onion rings.
When pairing grilled foods and beer, it’s hard to go wrong with a complementary, full-flavored smoked porter. The smoke of the beer will accent the grilled notes while the malts bring out the sweetness in the onions.
Ale-Braised Cabbage with Leeks and Mendocino’s Seasonal Wit
This flavorful side dish is spruced up a bit with the addition red cabbage and leeks. Lemon juice and dill brightens up the flavors, which are intensified when braised in a wit beer. I’d enjoy this dish alongside Mendo’s Seasonal White Ale, or maybe with White Hawk IPA.
Eggplant and Portabella Pasta and Eye of the Hawk
Featuring eggplant cooked in beer, this is a crowd-pleasing, comfort dish. Use any beer you like to cook the eggplant, though I would stay away from hoppy or fruity styles. I chose an amber, like Eye of the Hawk, to go with this dish, since I think it would balance out well with the lighter flavors of the pasta and mushrooms.
Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Heron Pale Ale
This recipe originally included pancetta, but I’m leaving that out to make it vegetarian-friendly. In this recipe, Brussels sprouts are steamed and then cooked with garlic in beer until the liquid is mostly gone—bringing out the crisp, slightly hot notes of the Brussels sprouts.
(Thanks to Stone Brewing for this great recipe idea!)
Chocolate Stout Cake and Black Hawk Stout
The addition of beer to this cake really amps up the moisture while also adding a smooth, malty flavor. Serve with a glass of Black Hawk Stout and congratulate yourself on a successful meal.
Do you have any favorite vegetarian meals to add to the recipe box? Let us know—and send the link—in the comments below!
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