In today’s global village, there are a world of options that go well beyond the condiments of our childhood. Not only do these sides offer unbelievable flavour, they also give your meal a huge nutritional heft. Whether fermented, high in antioxidants, or both, these condiments bring a whole new meaning to what it means to be simultaneously healing and delicious.
Traditionally used as a marinade and garnish for meat, this Argentinean staple is equally great with fish, chicken, or tofu. Give your meal a vibrant pop of green that marries nicely with its intense, fresh flavour.
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 handful chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients and use within 24 hours.
Miso Drizzle (Fermented)
I recently attended a west coast dinner, and a lovely 80-something Japanese woman made the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. Her secret? The fish itself was very simple (though cooked to perfection). The miso sauce drizzled on top elevated it to something that had me swooning. This drizzle is easy, versatile, and also great on rice or vegetables.
2 tablespoons miso paste (available at most health food stores and grocery stores)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1-2 tablespoons warm water
Mix all ingredients well until they’re the consistency of a thick soup. Pour on top of the meal of your choice.
Kimchi (Fermented, Antioxidants)
There are endless variations of this Korean fermented condiment, and though the steps are relatively easy, making it yourself requires a bit of a leap of faith. A typical Kimchi will be ready in about 4-5 days. Success in pulling it off gives you bragging rights for life.
1 head purple cabbage, cored and shredded (makes about 8 cups)
6 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, grated
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons ginger, grated
2-3 tablespoons sea salt
1-2 teaspoons chile flakes
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a larger bowl than you think you might need, as it lends to better veggie massaging. Yes, veggie massaging :)
Massage cabbage mix with your hands for about 10 minutes and then set aside. While resting, the salt will help the veggies to 'sweat', releasing some of their water.
Return to massage for another 10 minutes, until cabbage and other veggies are softened and a few tablespoons worth of water has been released.
Divide the mix between two 1 litre mason jars.
Press kimchi mix down, helping get out any air bubbles.
Seal jar loosely with mason jar lid and place in a warm spot, such as a windowsill. Let it sit for 4-5 days to ferment. If foam starts to form, skim it off.
After about 4 days, taste the kimchi (with a clean fork, never double dip) and decide if you want to let it ferment longer or if you're ready to enjoy it.
Once it’s ready, seal the jar and store it in your fridge. It will keep for 2-3 months.
So simple you hardly need a recipe, this Italian condiment is traditionally used to finish an Osso Buco. If, like me, your favourite part of this dish is the garnish, skip the heavy meat and use gremolata instead as a pairing with a hearty soup, on quinoa, fish, or sprinkled on baked sweet potatoes. As with many of these condiments, the possibilities are endless.
1 cup flat Italian parsley, washed, drained, and finely chopped
Rind from 1-2 lemons (finely grated off the lemon peel)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix well and use immediately. It will give your dish an unbelievable pop of flavour - as a bonus, it will be the prettiest plate around!