Back where I’m from “Vegan food” or “Plant-based food” is not a thing. Generally speaking, there’s a lot of attention, care and love put into the classical heroes of the our dishes, which mostly happen to be meat, fish or seafood. The vegetables tend to come as a side that unfortunately hasn’t been shown much love, being just really simple without much seasoning or variety in it’s cooking styles, kinds of vegetables, etc.
Go to the perfect vegan wine from a spectacular Spanish vineyard
In many parts of the world, this has been the narrative given to the vast and beautiful world of vegetables. Making people not be that excited about “veggie” dishes, and always a bit left to wonder why would anyone ever be vegetarian, let alone vegan.
However, times are changing and Vegan cuisine has gained a lot of traction and fans in the last few years. I myself, have been a vegan-only cook for the last 4 years and have found this “different” way of cooking to be quite an extraordinary surprise. Vegan food has so many qualities that make it attractive that even if one was not to adopt it fully, I think everyone could gain from incorporating some vegan dishes in to their lives.
Plant based cuisine is healthy, hearty, tasty and exciting! The vegetable kingdom is basically an infinite new frontier ready to explored, and once you get started, you might find yourself left wanting for more. There are unlimited combinations of spices, sauces, ways of cooking, colours, flavours, you name it, which I really believe would surprise anyone that might not be acquainted with it.
It can also be very simple and quick to make for anyone that might not have a lot of free time on their hands. When people ask me why I keep cooking this way, I always give the same answer, which is, it has made me a much better cook, for it has given me a whole new way of looking at flavours. Since you have to add them yourself and not just rely on the old flavours you have always known that come from animal products. The exploration is really exciting and a lot of fun.
As with any other type of food, it’s best way to shine is when paired with a beautiful wine. To pair with Ales Negres Red Wine, I would love to give you this really simple and fast “tapas style” recipe. For those who are already acquainted with this cuisine, hopefully it gives you a new tasty, simple and quick dish to try out! To those that might be still skeptical, I invite you to give it a try, and who knows, it might just be the little push you need to find out a whole new world of food!
Pan fried Asparagus with tomato, garlic and balsamic relish
Makes about 4 slices
-200gr Green Asparagus, white ends chopped off
-4 Slices of good sourdough bread. Toasted or gently pan fried with olive oil and salt
-3 Garlic cloves thinly sliced
-2 tomatoes, diced
-1 tbsp Vegan butter or Olive oil (or less if you would prefer)
-1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
-Basil thinly sliced (or other herbs of your choice)
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
On medium low heat, melt the vegan butter (or add the olive oil) and to the pan add the asparagus and garlic at the same time (since the asparagus takes a few minutes to cook).
When the garlic is getting a toasted golden colour add the diced tomatoes and let them reduce a bit. Add the salt and pepper. Give it a couple of minutes and raise the heat to start getting some caramelised flavours. Be careful not to burn anything.
When it’s really nicely caramelised add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze. Serve on to nice slice of sourdough bread. To serve, add little bit of extra virgin olive oil, more fresh herbs (if you’d like) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes.