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We can save the planet by going vegetarian, you say? Well, let's do it! Here are some wonderful meal ideas with recipes and wine pairings to enhance the experience. You can get inspiration in so many ways…
Membrillo & Stilton Quiche from Yotam Ottolenghi (pictured above) -- a delicious salty/sweet combo that will blow your socks off. Bubbly would probably be the best pairing as would an off-dry white. Reds? Lighter in body and juicy good fruit is the key. Maybe a silky Barbera or a young, fruity Zinfandel.
Another by Yotam Ottolenghi: Puy Lentil & Aubergine Stew. The first rule of wine pairings is pair like with like, meaning if the food is acidic, choose an acidic wine. In this case, lentils have a pleasant bitterness, so we're going with a lighter red with "lovely bitterness" (as the winemaker's sister says): Schiava from Alto Adige in Italy. Many other delicious options exist including reds from Southern Italy, lighter Garnacha from Spain, Rhône table wines as would a whole host of whites and rosé.
Jamie Oliver is great at simple, yummy dishes with what you've got in the fridge: Aubergine & Tomatoes Rogan Josh. Enjoy with a Southern Rhône white or red.
Ina Garten's Zuchini and Goat Cheese Tart is another winner. No time? Buy a pre-made crust. No shame in that! Enjoy with some bubbly -- Spanish Cava would be lovely!
Indian Mulligatawny Soup paired with a nice, pleasant Bordeaux Blanc -- always good. Another Indian favorite is Saag Paneer. Enjoy with a glass of Viognier.
Provençal Eggplant-Tomato Gratin -- a rich, meaty, herbal dish from the south of France. Better at the end of summer, but still tasty in the off season. You've got a ton of wine options with this dish, but we're going with a Reserve Minervois from Languedoc-Roussillon, richer dark fruit with a little herbal note.
VEGETABLES YOU LOVE:
Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts and Shallots with Pomegranate & Purple Basil -- a big yes to that! Lots of wine choices: Grüner Veltliner, Chablis, or a rounder Portuguese white blend would be lovely.
Or how about Apsaragus with Mushrooms & a Poached Egg? Asparagus is tricky with wine. Go with an unoaked white. Sancerre would be delicious as would Alsatian Pinot Gris or Riesling.
Satay Sweet Potato Curry -- Wine? Lots of wines would taste great with this dish - especially a rosé (good with everything spicy!) or a nice round white such as a Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc or Viognier.
Here's an easy recipe for Butternut Squash Chili. We'd recommend a lighter red (Nero Buono, Nero d'Avola) from wine regions along the Mediterranean where this type of stewed vegetable cuisine is a staple.
OR TRIED AND TRUE FAVORITES:
Starting with: Black Bean Burgers! Lots of wines would taste great with this dish -- from whites with good acidity to rosé to fruity reds. It's spring... we'll go with a Gamay! Tasty, won't overpower.
Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagne... hits all the buttons, doesn't it?? And then the wine: eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella & pasta... let's go with a red from Southern Italy: Negroamaro. Would be a match made in heaven!
No suffering at all. Cheers!