Now and then steamed vegetables, grilled meats and simple side salads just don’t get your taste buds buzzing.
Every day meals some times become a chore rather than a pleasure to eat, especially in our busy day-to-day lives. It is time to dress things up by adding excitement to your every day meals with a few simple dressings, sauces and relishes that are sure to make meal times a sensation of flavour.
Tomato Basil Dressing
Create a sweet and aromatic salad in minutes with this unique dressing.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 handful basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 anchovy fillet chopped finely
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Or alternatively place all ingredients in a clean jam jar and shake.
You can make this dressing in advance and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
~Serve as a dressing on a simple salad of baby spinach, avocado and Parmesan to create a fantastic salad for any meal.
~Dress up grilled fish or chicken by adding a spoonful of this dressing on top and serve with simple greens.
Red wine and mushroom sauce
This rich and earthy sauce is simple yet succulent and perfect for adding depth to a steak.
250 g button mushrooms sliced
1 tablespoon butter
50ml red wine
50ml chicken stock or water
1- 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 bunch chives, chopped roughly
In a large saucepan melt the butter over a high heat and add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook the mushrooms until dark in colour and just start to stick to the pan. Add the red wine and stock. Cook until the liquid has reduced by 2/3. Add the sour cream and season with salt and a good amount of pepper. Take off the heat and add the chives.
Serve a good spoonful on top of your steak for the ultimate indulgence.
~Try adding it to fettuccine for a rich and robust sauce. Serve with a little grated Parmesan and baby spinach leaves.
~Warm things up by adding it to lamb cutlets or any grilled meat and placing it under the grill for a minute to gratinate.
This Italian rustic ‘green’ sauce is splendid with any grilled, roasted or boiled meat or vegetable.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 small handful of capers
1 small handful of cornichons
6 anchovy fillets
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 bunch basil, leaves picked
1 handful mint, leaves picked
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
120ml good quality olive oil
Chop the cornichons and capers roughly. Place the first 7 ingredients in a food processor. Mix until all ingredients are finely chopped. Scoop the mix out into a bowl and stir in the olive oil, mustard and vinegar.
Season and store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days.
~Add to roasted or boiled new potatoes to make a delicious salad.
~Try adding a little into mashed potato to create a tasty and fresh herbed mash perfect with fish.
~Spice up a boring bbq chicken by adding a tablespoon to 4 tablespoons of good quality whole egg mayonnaise and serve it on the side.
Honey, Wholegrain mustard and Garlic Dressing
A luscious dressing to balance the bitterness of greens such as rocket, radicchio and watercress.
1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk or alternatively place all ingredients in a clean jam jar and shake. This dressing can stay in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
~Perfect for a winter salad especially with a creamy blue cheese like Gorgonzola Dolce.
~Dress up your boiled potatoes or green beans by tossing them in a little dressing while hot.
~Make a quick sauce for pork or chicken by adding a little dressing to the saucepan you have cooked your meat in and add a little white wine and cream.
Cumin and coriander spiced yoghurt
Add some spice and Indian flare to your meals with this refreshing spiced yoghurt.
250ml natural yoghurt
Zest 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
Toast your spices in a clean dry fry pan over a low heat until you smell their aroma. Grind them in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. Stir spices, lemon zest and herbs into the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper.
Store in an airtight container (or in the yoghurt container) in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
~Drizzle over any steamed vegetables especially broccoli and scatter with flaked almonds to create a great vegetable dish.
~Add the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt together to create a salad dressing with a difference and drizzle over your favourite raw vegetables.
~Spread on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise or butter to create a tasty alternative to your sandwiches.