Pairing Suggestion: Sweet Potato Ravioli
I found this beer pairing suggestion while I was researching food pairings for Harpoon Brewery. This is a great suggestion because the malty backbone and fruity esters create a resonating base layer which ties these two together. Then, the sweet potato and bitter hops keep each other in check, not letting the other get too overwhelming through most of each bite. But it's the hops that get the last laugh as they help cleanse the palate alongside the alcohol and carbonation. Your palate is left refreshed and ready for another bite.
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This is the fourth installment in a new pairing series/collaboration with the website They Draw and Cook (TDAC). TDAC is a truly inspiring website with hundreds if not thousands of illustrated recipes by artists from around the world. As you can imagine each recipe’s style and content is as unique as the artist who illustrated it. TDAC is a “veritable who’s who” of artistic styles and recipes as you will find painted, collaged, drawn, and digital renditions of scrumptious salads, mouthwatering main dishes, decadent desserts and so much more!
For this series, I have picked five recipes from a compilation book of recipes TDAC had published last year but you can also find them on TDAC.com. I have picked one breakfast-y recipe, one salad, one appetizer, one main dish and one dessert AND paired each recipe with one incredibly delicious beer!
Butternut Squash Ravioli
by Betsy Snyder
Click to see Betsy's recipe on TDAC!
I actually had a perfect beer picked for this recipe before I realized Betsy had already done the work for me. Thankfully, I had a different beer in mind. Otherwise, I couldn't have used this beautifully illustrated recipe. First, I want to say that I love her suggestion. The subtle pumpkin flavor (It should be subtle. This is a beer we are talking about and not a pumpkin pie juice) sets the perfect base layer resonating with the squash. Unfortunately, pumpkin beers are fall seasonals and so they will be hard to find any other time of the year. This is where my pairing suggestion picks up...
Hennepin is the perfect complex pairing to this meal as it resonates and contrasts at the same time! The sage, nutmeg and to a lesser extent, the parmesan cheese all resonate with the earthy, yeast derived spice in the beer. This creates a formidable base layer that helps to bridge the gap between the earthy spices and the inherent sweetness of the butternut squash and fruity esters in the beer. On the other side of the spectrum there are all the contrasting flavors. Hennepin keeps the butternut squash and sauce in check. The elevated carbonation level creates a carbonic bite (more of a sensation than a flavor) which counteracts the residual sweetness in the squash. The elevated carbonation also helps to cleanse and refresh the palate.
If you can't find this particular beer then substitute it with any local saison or any of the beers from the style.profile section below.
1. If you liked this pairing or love this recipe let the artist know and spread the love around. The artist and I would appreciate the extra publicity!
2. You can and should order this fabulous cookbook on TDAC.com.
3. These illustrations are copyrighted. You may not use them for any commercial reason without express written consent from the artist. You may, however, print them for your own use. Click the recipe which will take you to TDAC and from there you can download a high resolution copy or print a copy of this recipe.
Examples: Saison Dupont, Bruery Saison Rue,
Serving Temp: 45°- 50°
Glassware: Tulip Glass
Food Pairings: Cuisine: Herbal salads. Cheese: Earthy or Nutty. Meat: poultry and fish.
HopHeadSaid: Whether you are drinking a traditional strength (5% ABV or lower) or a more contemporary version (6% ABV or higher) Saisons should finish dry with very little sweetness. Saisons aromas can be quite complex with a fruit and spice mixture reminiscent of barnyards. Typically their flavors will be malt balanced (leaning towards malt instead of hops) but peppery spice flavors from the yeast and the elevated carbonation levels create a beer with medium bitterness and a dry finish.
These beers pair well with all kinds of cheeses because the dry finish and elevated carbonation help to scrub the palate clean after each drink. Saisons will also pair well with salads that are tossed with spicy greens like arugula or light meats such as fish or poultry. Spice these meats sparingly as the spices in the beer can add another layer of complexity to any dish.