Tagged: condiment

Simple Tahini Sauce

Thursday, Nov 17 2011 Cooking!

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 olive oil
1 teaspoon miso (optional)
3 cloves garlic
generous pinch of salt (to taste)
1/2 cup water

How easy is this? Add all ingredients to the blender. Hit blend.

File this one under: the basics.

This sauce has been a standby of mine many times during the phase of simplicity that directly follows a time of lackadaisical eating habits (read: the holidays). With some brown rice or quinoa in your pantry, and any steamed vegetable—in this case, purple kale—the sauce ever so simply elevates and delights what would be an underwhelming meal. It’s incredibly quick to make, has a bold, nutty flavor, and tahini happens to be packed with B-vitamins. This sauce is versatile—don’t be afraid to use it as a dip for your vegetable crudites or mixed in with some sauteed vegetables and warm rice noodles. (sub 1/2 creamy peanut butter for 1/2 the tahini and add 1 teaspoon grated ginger for an especially flavorful and less bitter tahini sauce).

 

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Roasted Red Pepper Harissa

Thursday, May 12 2011 Cooking!

My most notable memory of harissa was when it was served with my burger and fries, next to creme fraiche, as a clever substitute to catsup at Portland’s beloved Clyde Common. Its concentrated, rich flavor adds a bold punch to the most ordinary of foods: potatoes, burgers, eggs. It’s the sexy sidekick of condiments. After the briefest amount of internet research, I learned how simple harissa was to make—soak chiles and blend with spices, lemon, oil and salt—and it was instantly on the top of my food experiment list.

Harissa is a hot chili sauce originating from North Africa, consisting of any of several hot peppers (commonly birds eye chilis, but you could substitute for dried chiles available), and nearly always contains coriander, garlic, caraway and olive oil. Some recipes called for cumin seeds, mint, or regular red peppers, some did not. I love the smokey sweetness of roasted red peppers, so I decided to bulk up the recipe by using them. I’m not a big fan of caraway, so I skipped it this time. In the future I might use fresh cilantro, a bit of mint and a touch more garlic—but I love how my first attempt turned out.

I can already vouch for using this condiment’s sweet, tangy spiciness on burgers, with chickpea fries and on top of eggs in the morning.

Roasted Red Pepper Harissa

Makes about 1.5 cups

  • 2 red peppers
  • 4-6 dried birds eye chiles
  • 4-6 dried new mexico chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon

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