Hoppy beers are full of opportunity when paired with salad; all that vegetal mass harmonizes perfectly with leafy greens. Of course, hops have a range of aromas beyond chlorophyll; blueberry, mango, tangerines, pine needles, dank, white pepper, daisies and the list goes on! You can fill a salad with the very foods the hops suggest or fill the salad with things that contrast.
This salad mirrors the flavors present in Alpha King, basically pairing the beer with itself. The bitter kale matches the beer’s bitter edge, the toasted nuts and malt/honey in the dressing compliments the bready candy-like malt, and the grapefruit slices match the hop flavor. This full Alpha King saturation of the palate pushes one to explore the depth of the beer and draws out new sense of balance.
|Aroma: low earthy and roasted vegetal kale, low fresh grapefruit, very low toasted nut and very low oil|
|Flavor: medium-high vegetal kale, low earthiness from turnips, bursts of nutty sweetness, and cleansing bitterness from grapefruit. aftertaste is toasty with a hint of roast and medium bitterness; the dressing supports the food stuff, but does not present itself overtly|
|Pairing: The bitterness of the kale and grapefruit harmonize with the bitterness of the beer and the malt ends up shining through. With the palate fully saturated by the bitterness from each side, the malt comes across as a rich breadiness, reminiscent of a Dusseldorf alt beer.|
APA Massaged Kale Salad
This salad is not only spiked with Alpha King to harmonize it with a glass of beer, it contains fruits and vegetables to mirror the hop character of Alpha King. Two kinds of kale are used to vary and deepen the flavor; using a single variety of kale would work just fine.
3.5 oz curly-leaf kale
3.5 oz flat-leaf kale
3.5 oz purple top turnip
2 ½ t canola oil, divided
2 t Alpha King
1 oz walnuts
3 T Alpha King
1 pinch salt
½ t malt extract (or use all honey)
¼ t honey
¼ t grapefruit juice (from cutting board)
3 T canola oil
- Remove steams from kale and slice into 1-inch pieces.
- Slice kale leaves into ½ inch strips the short way; place in bowl, add 2 t oil, 2 t beer and 1 pinch salt then gently rub into kale until leaves are vibrant. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate from up to 3 hours.
- Heat oven to 425° F. Julienne turnip, to match kale steams. Toss steams and turnip with ½ t oil and 2-3 pinches of salt. Roast for 18 minutes, just until edges begin to brown.
- Toast walnuts at 425° F for 7 minutes, until golden; coarsely chop.
- Slice grapefruit into rounds, then cut off pith; reserve ¼ juice from cutting board for dressings.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients, except oil, in a medium size bowl. Add a few drops of oil and whisk to establish an emulsion, slowly drizzle the rest of the oil into dressing while whisking continuously.
- Reserve the grapefruit and a tablespoon or so of the turnip, kale stems, and walnuts to top the salad. Add remaining ingredients and dressing to kale leaves and toss until dressing is evenly distributes. Plate and garnish with grapefruit and other reserved items.