Fried Cauliflower with Chermoula: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Jun 2015 | Issue #101

Photo by Jason Squires

Celina Tio, owner, chef and Cicerone at The Belfry, a cozy, 20-tap bar and restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., prefers pairing beer with boldly flavored food. This fried cauliflower dish is new to the menu and pops with the lemon, garlic and cumin in chermoula, a marinade found in Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. It’s balanced by the sweetness of golden raisins and pistachios, making it a complex dish with acidity and a little heat.

Pale Ale | 5.4% ABV
Boulevard Brewing Co.
This beer’s balance makes it a versatile choice for all kinds of food. The malt provides a great contrast to the acidity of the lemon and slight heat of the cayenne. Meanwhile, the floral and light citrus notes of the Cascade hops complement the earthiness of the cauliflower, balancing the dressing’s flavors.

Domaine DuPage | 5.9% ABV
Two Brothers Brewing Co.
The fruity esters and caramel notes of this Biere de Garde bring out and complement the spice notes of the dressing, especially the coriander, which has a Fruit Loops-like sweetness on its own. Bread crust and toasted malt characters in the beer marry with the slightly caramelized edges of the fried cauliflower.

Nooner | 5.2% ABV
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Nooner’s citrusy zing balances the sweetness of the juicy golden raisins while the prominent floral and spice notes from the hops in this German-style Pilsner play nicely with the Chermoula. The crisp carbonation of the beer adds another harmonizing component to the experience, helping to complete the dish.