GABF Countdown: 4 Weeks To Go. This Week’s Focus: HOPS in the Kitchen!

Only 4 weeks until the 2012 Great American Beer Festival!

I am going to have a theme each week leading up to GABF, and this week I am focusing on cooking with beer or, more specifically, with hops.

While I’ve cooked with beer, I’ve never made anything with actual hops. But since I enjoy them so much in beer, I plan on trying this recipe out soon. I found it at

Hopped-Up Bruschetta
3-4 servings

If you have trouble finding fresh hops, basil flowers make a worthy substitute. Once the basil plant has gone to flower, its pungency increases and its herbaceousness becomes slightly bitter and hoplike.

1/2 small garlic clove 
Kosher salt
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 fresh hop flowers (not pellets) or basil flowers, torn
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6-8 pieces toasted country bread

Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Combine garlic paste with 1/2 tsp. salt, the tomato, onion, oil, hop flowers, and pepper. Top the toasts with the tomato mixture and serve. 

If anyone makes this, please let me know how it turns out. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it but I definitely want to try it in the near future.

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