Vegetarian Food and Wine Matching

Published by Roberson Wine on 20/02/2018

Roberson staff share their favourite vegetarian recipes and wine matches

Easy Lentil Stew

By: Tayla Roberson

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1980. That was a pre-foodyism age when quiche, potato skins and omelette were the on-trend options. Being meat free is much more interesting these days, but vegetarian food and wine pairing hasn’t got much easier; if you want a lovely glass of Bordeaux, Tofu doesn’t taste any better with it than scrabbled egg did.

So, go old-school French to make a simple dish with flavour and character to meet the wine half way. It’s dark, delicious and almost meaty.

Vegetarian food and wine matching: Easy Lentil Stew

The Ingredients:

  • 200g Puy lentils
  • 1 onion
  • A couple of carrots
  • A couple of sticks of celery
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • A couple of small mushrooms
  • A couple of bay leaves

The Method:

Take a large open bottom, shallow pan. Cut the onion into 8 and fry until soft in a splash of olive oil.

Add the lentils. Cover with water. Add the remaining vegetables and a few bay leaves. Simmer gently for about half an hour. Top up with a splash of whichever wine you are drinking.

It’ll be ready to eat when the lentils are al dente and the stock is reduced to a stew like consistency.

The Wine Match:

Perfect with a traditional Bordeaux like Château Franc-Cardinal, or a robust and slightly rustic southern French red, like L'Esprit de la Fontaine.


Onion and Feta Pie

By: Ben Greene

This is a modified version of the Provence pizza - pissaladière - which normally features anchovies in place of the Feta below. The key is not to rush the onions.

Vegetarian food and wine matching: Onion and Feta Pie

The Ingredients:

  • 1kg onions
  • Olive oil
  • A sheet of all-butter puff pastry
  • Black olives
  • Feta

The Method:

Peel and slice the onions, then cook them in olive oil over a very low heat for two hours. They should collapse down without catching.

Spread them on the puff pastry leaving a bit of a border, and brush that with olive oil. Scatter the black olives and Feta over the top.

Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes or so.

The Wine Match:

Match with a high-quality Provence rosé like Minuty's Rose et Or, or try a Greek white to match the Feta and olives, like Argyros' native Santorini grape Aidani.


Vegetarian Chilli

By: Simon Huntington

When I was considerably younger and fitter, a friend talked me into taking part in a weekend ‘adventure race’. This was a cross-country running and cycling event, which involved the extra challenge of having to navigate using map and compass to specific points along the course.

At the end of the race, there were huge portions of vegetarian chilli served up to all the competitors – and I quickly realised that I could cut out the middle-man and enjoy the best part of the race experience without the muddy and exhausting preamble.

Vegetarian food and wine matching: Vegetarian Chilli

The Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 6 sticks of celery
  • 2 chilli peppers, deseeded
  • 2 sweet red peppers
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carton black beans
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 20g 90% cocoa dark chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle-smoked chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for taste)

The Method:

Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry until translucent in a large cast-iron cooking pot, over a medium-high heat. Chop the celery, sweet peppers and deseeded chillies and add. Slice the mushrooms and add after a further 2 minutes.

Once all the vegetables are softened, add the oregano, cayenne pepper and smoked chilli flakes and continue frying for 1 minute to release the flavours.

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable stock and, once back up to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer slowly and reduce for around 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes (or whenever the chilli has thickened), grate the dark chocolate into the mix, add the drained black beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve with brown rice or a baked potato. If the chilli is too hot for your taste, add Greek yoghurt to reduce the heat.

The Wine Match:

I would generally serve this with a red, but the spices will clash with anything that's too tannic, so you're best off with a ripe, silky red such as the Jackhammer Pinot Noir. If you'd prefer a white, try Semeli's succulent, floral Thea Mantinia Moschofilero.

Got your own tried and tested vegetarian recipe? We'd love to hear from you and might feature your recipe in a future post - just get in touch.

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