How to flavor up what you cook

Aside from dried and fresh herbs and spice blends, I rely on certain seasonings and ingredients to enhance the flavor of what I cook. Here’s my list:

  • Olives. I add pitted, whole green Manzanilla olives to any dish that needs some briny goodness. I’ve been known to add the liquid from the olive jar to salad dressings and marinades.
  • Olive tapenade. The prepared tapenade that I use is a mixture of Kalamata and other chopped olives; add to salad dressings, soups, stews, and casseroles.
  • Raisins. When needed, I add raisins instead of sugar to a sauce, soup, or stew to give a bit of sweetness.
  • Toasted sesame oil. This oil enhances any Asian dish, salad dressing, or marinade with a nutty earthiness. Good mixed with Sriracha chili sauce.
  • Sriracha chili sauce. I adore Sriracha because of its sweet spiciness; try in dressings, marinades, sautés, soups, and stews.
  • Balsamic and fruit vinegars. Both white and dark, balsamic vinegar adds a mild, delicious tang to marinades, salad dressings, and any soup or stew. Fruit vinegars are tasty, sweet, and mild.
  • Nuts and seeds. I love the crunch and richness that nuts and seeds add to salads and almost anything else I prepare. Stir nut butters into hot vegetables, beans, and legumes.
  • Hot sauce. Instead of reaching for the saltshaker, I drizzle hot sauce (Sontava brand) on whatever I’m eating.
  • Tahini sesame paste. This paste has a toasty aspect that goes well with beans and legumes (it is a major ingredient in hummus), but it also adds flavor to sauces, soups, and rice.
  • Lemon juice. Like vinegar, lemon juice perks up a dish from the doldrums.
  • Mustard. Five different jars of mustard—from Dijon to mustard aioli—are open in my fridge because I enjoy the kick and tang that mustard can bring to any dish.

I’d love to know how you enhance what you’re cooking!


One thought on “How to flavor up what you cook

  1. All the above, except Sriracha which I’ve only recently heard about. Almost always I have ‘fresh’ store bought Mexican salsa handy…. it has too many ingredients for me to make at home, so it’s very quick to have a container in the fridge. Also a variety of store bought chutneys, and anchovy paste or whole anchovies, canned… excellent with pasta, vegetables…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.