I love condiments. We have four shelves dedicated to condiments in our fridge because we live by the code of condiments ~ “make the mundane, magnificent.” A condiment by definition, is “something used to enhance the flavor of food.” The “art of condimenting” results in notching dishes up in flavor. So when I refer to condiments, I’m not referring to mustards, mayo or hot sauces (which have their place in the condiment categories) but prepared condiments such as harissa, pestos, chermoula, tzatziki, salsas, chimichurri, pistou, infused oils, chutneys, even enhanced barbecue sauces, butters and jams. The magic of condiments is they can make the ordinary, quite extraordinary and special. March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2021 is Personalize Your Plate which promotes being creative with cooking and exploring nutritious meals to meet cultural and personal food preferences. With a selection of condiments from around the world, this theme can make meal-planning fun and make the mundane, magnificent!
So think about some of your favorite dishes from breakfast foods to dinners. Eggs, potatoes, pastas, rice dishes, sandwiches, soups, grilled meats, cooked vegetables, salads. Take these ordinary dishes, the ones you know best and make them extraordinary with a condiment or two. Here are some ideas, along with a couple of condiment recipes you can make, store on your “condiment shelf” and use to enhance some simple dishes. Most of the condiments listed take very little time or ingredients to pull together.
Here are a few from earlier blog posts, one sweet, one savory, one lemony fresh and creamy ~ followed by a couple new condiments you can try.:
Remember your quest to Personalize your Plate this month!
ZHOUG for more spice in your life!
This is a condiment from Yemen that can be used on literally most foods. We love it on eggs. It’s great on grilled potatoes. A dollop on soups is amazing. Spread it on sandwiches or wraps. Your life will change forever if you spread it on a falafel!! Recently, my husband and I became obsessed with shakshuka. Zhoug definitely takes this already well-seasoned dish up several notches. Try it. Zhoug leans tends on the spicier side, so if you want less of that, just reduce the jalapeño heat to your liking.
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 bunches organic cilantro, stems included – approximately 3 cups leaves and stems
- 1 bunch organic Italian parsley or curly parsley – approximately 1 cup
- 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for a milder sauce)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground toasted cumin
- 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander
- 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1 T fresh lemon juice (add more if needed)
- 1 C extra virgin olive oil
Add all ingredients through lemon juice into blender. With blender running, add olive oil and blend until rough-smooth consistency. It shouldn’t be like pistou or pesto, but more chunky.
SMOKY ROSE PEDAL HARISSA ~ flirts with your favorites
Harissa is a great condiment for meats, vegetables, fish, eggs, breads, rices, burgers, chowders and sweet potatoes. We dollop our Moroccan Carrot Soup with this condiment – it’s killer good! It’s smoky flavor comes from the chipotles and something we’ve taken liberty with by adding it to this recipe. If you would rather not have this extra heat and smoke, the recipe is just as good on it’s own. Same goes for the rose pedals. While the floral elements add so much interest, it may not appeal to everyone. Give it a try and see what you can new flavor profiles you can discover for your favorite dishes.
- 12-14 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded, rehydrated
- 2 T culinary rose pedals, rehydrated
- 2 canned chipotle peppers
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds
- 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 1 bunch organic mint leaves, stems removed (approx 1 cup)
- 4 T extra-virgin olive oil (add more as needed)
- 1 T kosher salt
- 5 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 T lemon zest
Stem chiles and place in a large bowl. Add rose pedals to bowl and pour boiling water over ingredients so they are submerged. Let stand for 30-40 minutes. In a large cast iron pan, on medium heat, toast caraway, coriander, and cumin – swirling constantly so not to burn, but becoming fragrant. About 5 minutes.. Cool and transfer spices to a grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside. Drain chiles and rose pedals and transfer to the bowl of a food processor or blender with all the chipotles, ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Purée, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is very smooth, about 2 minutes. To keep in fridge, transfer to a sterilized jar. It should last up to 4 weeks.