Posted in Recipes

Broccolini with Sesame Miso Dressing

broccolini with sesame miso dressing 1

Today’s simple little recipe is one I derived from a common Japanese way of dressing cold greens (notably spinach). The dressing in question is made by toasting sesame seeds then grinding them to a paste along with a little sugar and mirin, sake and soy sauce. The result is called ‘Spinach Gomae’ (if using Spinach) and, while I like the dressing generally, I also find that it can have a bit of a bitter after taste.

I decided to try something that resulted in the same sweet/sesame flavors, but avoided any bitterness and, accordingly settled on Hummus as a milder (if not very Japanese) base for the dressing. I also incorporated a little light miso for depth, and then included a rich Japanese Sesame oil for the proper sesame punch. For today’s dish, I am using Broccolini rather than spinach to make a nice little appetizer salad…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pre-blanched Broccolini, trimmed of thick stems;
  • 3 Tbsp. Hummus;
  • 1 tsp. Light (white) Miso;
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice;
  • 1 Tbsp. Dark Sesame Oil;
  • 1 tsp. Sugar;
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. Mirin;
  • Sesame Seeds for garnish.

Assembly is super simple … First, blend together all the ingredients except the Broccolini and sesame seeds and mix to a smooth paste. Allow this to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

When you are ready, add the dressing to the Broccolini and mix. The idea here is not to drench, or drown the greens in the dressing, but rather just add enough to coat the pieces with sauce. Arrange the greens attractively on individual serving plates and sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish. Serve…

That’s it.

Posted in Recipes

Nihaizu and Sanbaizu – Japanese Seasoned Vinegars

Nihaizu and Sanbaizu 1

Nihaizu and Sanbaizu are both seasoned vinegars used in Japanese cuisine, sometimes as marinades or the bases for dipping sauces, but primarily as dressings for the salad type preparations known as ‘Suomono’ or ‘Aemono’ dishes. In this post, we will be looking at both preparations together as they are very similar in composition and function, with the latte being a sweeter elaboration on the former. Since both will last almost indefinitely once prepared, and since they each can form the basis for a whole range of more complex dressings, they are extremely handy to have on hand in one’s refrigerator…  Continue reading “Nihaizu and Sanbaizu – Japanese Seasoned Vinegars”

Posted in General

Garlic Oil

Garlic Oil 01

Having a jar of home-made garlic infused oil on hand is almost a must in my kitchen. You can use just a bit of the garlic in recipes that call for it (and it is so much better than the commercial varieties of chopped garlic), or you can also take only the oil for stir-frying, or adding to salad dressings, etc. I personally find using a little of both is great for the base of marinades and the like.

Making some for yourself is not difficult at all, but you do need to be a little careful as improper procedures can result in potentially harmful spoilage. Both salt and refrigeration are required if you wish to keep the preparation for any longer than a few days and, after years of doing things this way, I can happily say that I have never had any problems… Continue reading “Garlic Oil”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Heinz Salad Cream

Salad Cream, particularly the Heinz brand, was a fairly common condiment in England when I was growing up but it seems to be far less popular in Canada, In our house, both in England, and later when my family moved to Canada, we used salad cream the same way that most people use commercial mayonnaise, or ‘Miracle Whip’ and, indeed, whenever we said ‘mayonnaise’ we actually meant the Heinz, or else the Cross & Blackwell brand of salad cream. Today, although I frequently use other mayonnaise products, using anything else other than Heinz Salad Cream on a sandwich of leftover Christmas Turkey just doesn’t seem right… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Heinz Salad Cream”